• Man 'trying to make a point' blocks road to popular park in Northbridge

    By: Evan White

    Updated:

    NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. - A popular public park in Northbridge is no longer public.

    A homeowner with a land dispute recently chose to install concrete blocks across the road needed to access the park. 

    "It’s not right, it’s just not right,” Mendon resident Gail Marquedant said.

    Ross Smith had the stone blocks placed in front of West Hill Park because of issues he has with the Army Corps of Engineers, which maintains West Hill Park and dam.

    "I'm trying to make a point to Army Corps officials," Smith told Boston 25 News. 

    He says this road is part of his 29-acre property and wants the Army Corps to acknowledge that, and set up an arrangement removing his liability — then he’d go back to letting everyone use the road.

    Second, he wants to build a house for his son and needs approval.

    "The biggest problem that I have is that I want them to understand that we are people that have issues that I want them to deal with us," he said. 

    An Army Corps spokesman says West Hill road is shutdown because of a property line dispute and added, “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is diligently working towards a resolution of this issue, with the goal of providing access to West Hill Park for the upcoming 2019 recreation season.”

    West Hill Park is used year-round, although if this drags on until Spring, park-goers tell Boston 25 News the dam-side lot will fill up quickly, leaving little room for people to go if they want to use the park.

    The Northbridge Assessor’s Office says there is a question as to who owns the area being blocked off by Smith. To determine that, a survey would need to be done and would be costly. 

    The town has no plans to do that, but Smith says he’s already done one. 

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