Turner junkyard owners given deadlines for cleanup

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TURNER — At a meeting Monday night, selectmen warned owners of two junkyards to clean up their properties or face legal action.

Selectmen met for an hour in executive session with town attorney Jamie Belleau to discuss junkyard issues.

After the executive session, selectmen discussed the situations with the two property owners, Thomas Heikkinen and Carlton Enos, who were asked to attend the meeting.

Code Enforcement Officer Roger Williams showed the selectmen photographs taken several years ago and photographs taken recently. The selectmen deemed that the photographs showed progress was too slow, and gave the owners definite dates to complete the work or face legal action.

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Heikkinen said that from 1972 until a few years ago, he operated a legally permitted junkyard. He said he then retired and has been cleaning up the property since then. He said equipment problems have slowed the work.

Selectman Dennis Richards said it has been three years and the property is still not cleaned up. He said the board showed compassion but it did not work. The selectmen then voted to give Heikkinen 60 days to finish cleaning up his property or face legal action.

Enos also complained of equipment problems. He said he has four vehicles from which he is stripping parts to use in repairing others. He also has a pile of lumber he plans to burn when it snows. There is a burned-out structure that needs to be knocked down. He had no reply when Selectman Ralph Caldwell reminded him that he had offered free help.

Enos said he hasn’t worked in six months and funds were short. When he was asked when he could complete the project, he said that he was working on it.

Selectmen gave him until Jan. 1, 2016, to finish cleaning up his property.

Town Manager Kurt Schaub and Williams also presented information on the Harry Williams property on Cobb Road. This property was previously cited for junkyard violations. The property is unoccupied and there are some questions as to who is legally responsible for cleaning up the property. The property is littered with several thousand tires and other debris.

Schaub said an abutter is interested in acquiring the property, but is unwilling to take on the liability of cleaning it up.

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