BUCKFIELD — Town Manager Glen Holmes told selectmen Tuesday night that he will begin hiring people to clean up Roger Bennett’s junkyard because he has failed to abide by a court order to do so.

The decision followed an executive session and conference call with town attorney Geoffrey Hole.

On Dec. 22, Oxford County Superior Court declared Bennett in contempt of a judgment dated Dec. 5, 2005, and several subsequent orders to clean up his property on Route 117 next to the old railroad bed. After visits to the property on two occasions in 2008 and 2009, Justice Robert E. Crowley ruled that the property is a junkyard and issued an order that it be cleaned up in two weeks and assure that his property will not fall under the definition of automobile junkyard or graveyard. He was also ordered to remove the camper trailer from his property that he used to store junk and comply with the 2005 order.

The court also said if Bennett doesn’t comply, the town has the right to clean up the property at Bennett’s expense.

Holmes said Tuesday that it’s been 14 days since the order was issued and Bennett has not complied.

Complaints about the junkyard go back to Sept. 28, 2004, when it was charged that Bennett had three or more vehicles on his property that were not registered or inspected and there was scrap material on the site.

Bennett’s lawyer, Samuel Nesbitt, said previously that Bennett agreed to bring his property into compliance and made some attempts at complying through the years.

In 2007, Buckfield brought another motion to compel compliance and in January 2008 the court ordered Bennett to clean up the junkyard. The parties reached an agreement that by Feb. 1, 2008, Bennett would remove all items from the front of his property. Another order required Bennett to remove all items from the back of his property by May 1, 2008.

Nesbitt’s response to the court order states that storing automobile parts does not make an automobile graveyard and the order does not say people found three unregistered vehicles on the property, and the judge did not find that the law prohibits storing automobile parts outside of a graveyard.

The definition of an automobile graveyard, according to Maine statutes is a yard, field or other outdoor area used to store three or more unregistered or uninspected motor vehicles, or parts of the vehicles. Automobile graveyard includes an area used for automobile dismantling, salvage and recycling operations.

A junkyard is defined as a yard, field or other outside area used to store, dismantle or otherwise handle: discarded plumbing, heating, electronic, household appliances, furniture, etc.

In other business before selectmen Tuesday night, Stacy Scotia was appointed as an alternate to the Planning Board by a vote of 2-1.

A final reminder was given of the special town meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Buckfield Junior-Senior High School Auditorium to vote on a wind power moratorium and selling Bessey Memorial Field on Paris Hill Road.


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