WILTON — A planned cleanup of an Adams Street yard came to a halt Tuesday when the property owner refused to allow the cleaners on his property.

When Virgil Salley of Mechanic Falls arrived at about 7:30 a.m. to start the cleanup ordered by the town, Duane Pollis was putting up “no trespassing” signs on his property. 

“He told me it’s not happening today,” Salley said. His crew of five waited as police and Town Manager Rhonda Irish talked with Pollis and his brother, Darren, at approximately 9 a.m.

Salley was awarded a $2,500 contract last week by the Board of Selectpersons to clear the yard. A court approved the move this past spring.

Salley said he offered to help Pollis clean the yard and put items he wanted to keep in the barn.

“‘We’re here to help you,'” Salley said he told him.


Police Chief Heidi Wilcox said Pollis told her, “‘I’m willing to die today.'”

She said what town officials consider junk, Pollis considers his valued possessions.

He has not committed a crime and there was nothing there worth anyone dying over, she said.

Wilcox consulted with the assistant district attorney before stopping the cleanup and sending the cleaning crew home at 9:30 a.m.

Pollis may be found in contempt of court and face fines or jail time, or a judge may order police to keep him away while the property is cleaned, she said later.

Pollis said he has been cleaning the yard.


“That is an antique motorcycle I plan to fix up,” he said. “It’s all valuable.”

The gallon buckets spread over the yard are being used to take items to the dump, he said.

Pollis said he wants to have his say in court, but claimed he didn’t receive notice of court proceedings last fall. He also couldn’t afford to hire an attorney and is now seeking free legal counsel, he said.

Wilcox said Pollis showed her the court papers, but claimed his girlfriend didn’t tell him about the court dates.

The court found for the town because Pollis did not respond. He was ordered to pay fines of $100 a day for 95 days, plus the town’s legal costs.

The matter has been referred to the town attorney for consideration of the next step, Irish said later.

Salley will receive payment for showing up Tuesday, she said.


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