On one side, Greg and Rebecca VandenAkker, owners of West End Creamery and Family Farm, a former dairy farm and popular attraction with an ice cream store, mini-golf and a corn maze, claim their agricultural tourism business is threatened by the actions of Howard and Andrea Fease, trustees of Burdon Pond Realty Trust, which owns Burdon Pond Dam.
Fease claims a historic deed attached to a probate court order gives him the right to do so; and by raising the water, he says he has enhanced the recreational and wildlife value of the pond.
Fease says this is for land courts, rather than environmental agencies to decide.
Fease to "preserve Burdon Pond," and information about the flooding problems and the dam posted by the VandenAkkers outside their ice cream stand.
Fease did to tidy up the old dam at the eastern edge of Burdon Pond, also known as Swans Pond, after he purchased it in October 2009.
Fease opened the lower-level sluice gate a few weeks earlier and drained significant amounts of water from the pond, without an order of conditions to do so.
Fease also needed to have a dam safety inspection done by a registered professional engineer and register the dam with the state Department of Conservation and Recreation's Office of Dam Safety, according to the minutes.
Fease's efforts this year to significantly raise the water level, said, "I noticed last year how low the water went.
Fease from Martin Suuberg, regional director of the state Department of Environmental Protection, the VandenAkkers' "irrigation" activities Mr.
Fease added flashboards to the dam, which raised the water level, still without a permit - from which he claims exemption.