Old cars and garbage litter

the property.

PARIS – A property owner on Ryerson Hill Road has until Monday to clean up her property of garbage and junked cars or face court action, selectmen agreed Monday.

Selectmen were responding to complaints about the condition of the property of Anita Smith. Several Ryerson Hill Road residents told selectmen Monday the time for action was long overdue.

“The people on Ryerson Hill have really had enough,” said road resident Forey Everett. He said Smith stores garbage in numerous abandoned vehicles on her property, and the garbage is infested with rats, which their cats bring home.

Frank Landers, another resident of the road, said he spoke to Smith and had arranged to have all 11 junked cars on her property removed for free. He said Smith allowed five cars to be towed off, but said she wanted to keep the rest for parts. And five or so more junked cars have since appeared since the first five were towed off, he said.

“Now we are back to 11 cars. But the big issue is the garbage. It’s completely unsightly,” Landers said.

Everett said he has lost two potential buyers of a 5-acre lot he owns on the road as a direct result of the condition of Smith’s property. He said the situation is so bad residents of the road are willing to load the garbage into Dumpsters themselves, providing the town supplies the Dumpster.

But Selectman Gerald Kilgore said it is not “up to the town to clean up someone’s garbage.”

Selectman Ray Glover said the process the town must follow involves a series of warnings by the town’s Code Enforcement Officer, Al Holden. If those are ignored, Holden is certified to take the issue to court on behalf of the town.

Holden’s most recent letter to Smith gave July 19 as the deadline for cleaning up her property. If she doesn’t meet that deadline, Smith will be issued summonses by the Paris Police Department on Monday.

Town Manager Steve McAllister said Smith could be issued fines by the court, and also be compelled to clean up the property or face arrest.

Selectman Bruce Hanson said Smith could be cited immediately for violation of state junkyard laws, which make it illegal to store three or more abandoned vehicles on private property. But Selectman Nancy Record said the town should wait until the July 19 deadline cited in Holden’s letter before taking action.

Town Manager Steve McAllister said that when complaints surfaced several years ago about the condition of Smith’s property, “it was cleaned up significantly. It took her a long time, but there was progress.”

Smith has not yet, however, responded to the most recent complaints, he said.

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