A Westford, Vermont man is gaining national attention after building a 700-pound statue of a middle finger directed at town officials.

Ted Pelkey, a 54-year-old business owner, is feuding with development officials in Westford about a proposal to build an 8,000 square foot garage on his property.

Pelkey told Boston.com that the town’s Development Review Board repeatedly denied his requests for a building permit for the garage.


“I’ve been put through the wringer by these people, and it’s just not right,” he said. “I’m not trying to cause hate and animosity to the people who live in that town, because there’s very good people in that town.”

The Development Review Board said it denied Pelkey’s most recent application on the grounds that it lacked necessary information about building purpose and lighting. Pelkey is in the process of appealing the decision.

Pelkey has attempted to build the garage for 10 years so that he can move his recycling and truck repair companies from a nearby town to his own property, according to Boston.com.

“You can get out of bed in the morning, take your coffee, walk across the driveway, and go to work,” he said.

Pelkey said that he spent over $4,000 on the statue, which sit at the top of a 16-foot pole. The state has a ban on billboards, but officials said the display, which also includes floodlights, does not violate that policy.

The Westford Selectboard also determined that the sculpture is “public art” and protected by free speech rights. The so-called “gigantic gesture” even has its own Facebook page.