Deerfield man erects sign protesting MassDOT
DEERFIELD — For two days, a large white sign protesting the state Department of Transportation has caught some drivers’ attention on Route 116.
Michael Killeen, of 112 Sunderland Road, erected the sign, which reads “MassDOT is flooding my property and is violating the FOIA,” on Monday by his home. FOIA refers to the Freedom of Information Act.
Killeen’s small home sits at the corner of Sugarloaf Street and Sunderland Road, the intersection of which is state-owned Route 116. In the back of his blue-gray home, Killeen has been building a new garage, for which, he says, he has a building permit.
According to Deerfield Health Agent Richard Calisewski, the 33-year-old resident has been in conflict with the state over a berm he built along his property by the state-owned road.
Killeen, owner of Sunderland Roofing, apparently created the berm, or large mound of dirt, to block headlights and noise from his home. But the dirt pile fell on state-owned land, 10 to 12 feet from the corner of Killeen’s house.
The state ordered Killeen to remove the dirt pile, giving him 60 days to do so.
Though Killeen has removed much of the dirt pile, he now has erected the large sign in its place.
The sign, however, is in violation of Deerfield sign bylaws. Killeen does not have a permit for the sign, Calisewski said. The town cannot contact Killeen regarding the illegal sign until he returns from vacation.
Aside from the sign permit, Calisewski said the state Attorney General’s office is handling the case.
“I’m deferring to the Attorney General’s office rather than spending Deerfield’s time and money,” Calisewski said. “The majority of dirt is on state property. Deerfield has no jurisdiction. The sign is also on state property, it appears.”
MassDOT and the Attorney General’s office did not return calls for comment on this story.