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Concerns over campers in the town of Theresa

Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 3:08 PM EDT
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TOWN OF THERESA, New York (WWNY) - It’s a case that has been camped out in court. It deals with RVs in the town of Theresa. Town officials say they’ve been trying to get them removed for months - with no success.

“It just comes down to, they’re breaking the law,” said Jim Morris, a neighbor.

He’s talking about two RVs. Personal belongings are scattered across the property. The trailers have been in the spot since early May, which is a problem. Theresa town code says all campers need a 30-day permit and the RVs have been there for about four months.

“Why should I put up with this when I – the laws are pretty clear and I shouldn’t have to,” said Morris.

Theresa Code Enforcement Officer Terry McKeever says he’s been trying to get the RVs to move. He says neither is registered, therefore they can’t get a camping permit.

“Neighbors in the area have been very concerned. We’ve had rumors of – saying that there’s meth going on here. I don’t know if that’s true. I investigated to see who owned these trailers. I did come on a pickup a truck, a Ford pickup truck,” said McKeever.

McKeever says he learned who owns the truck. It’s a woman who 7 News confirmed has been in the Jefferson County Jail since May on drug charges. She was arrested in the town of Watertown in 2017.

We visited the property and met Michaelynn Forney. She declined an on-camera interview, but she says she inherited the property from her father and can do whatever she wants with it. Forney denied any drug related activity and says she and her friends are just camping, not living there.

County records show the property is owned by Michael Forney. He passed away about a year ago, but it’s still under his name.

“Even though your father did own the land, you still don’t have a right to bring in two unregistered camping trailers,” said McKeever.

The issue is making its way through local town courts. Forney pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges in the town of Thresa court, but Morris wants it settled fast.

“I’m retired. This is my vacation spot and I don’t want – if the rumors are true - I don’t want people like that near me,” he said.

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