Category: "Local"

Going On Ten Years

I'm just being a bad neighbor, he's just running his trash business, yep, heard it all from the Township supervisors over the years, yet I'm not the one violating Township ordinances or a State Laws by running a junk yard along Route 6.

The area outlined in black, minus that 40' storage trailer, was the original size and scope of the old body shop that closed it's business in 2005. Where the upper earth work and new buildings are was a nice, permeable slope of grass and trees. Was that way for years before I moved into my house in 1989. The the property was sold to the current owner and tons of earth have been moved and brought in as non permeable soil which has done nothing but cause millions of gallons of silt water to run through my property and some of it into my well.

And let's not forget the hundreds of junked vehicles that have been crushed and torn apart. The gallons of illegal fluids being drop to the ground and allowed to, well, flow downhill.

Going On Ten Years

And now, the beautiful piece of property has it's own 'cul-de-sac'. See the new addition on the right? Another entrance to this illegal business and I'm in the process of seeing if this was legally put in. All entrances onto State or Federal highways require a 'highway occupancy permit' issued by PennDot. Something tells me a permit wasn't applied for, given the propensity of dis regard of the law, but only time will tell. If it was applied for and approved, then PennDot is in violation of a State law that says junk/salvage yards can not be in operation within 2,000 feet of a highway.

So, for the residents of Hamlin Township who keep electing folks that don't have the nerve to uphold the law, we'll just have to see how much their resistance to doing the job they were elected to do is going to cost all of us. I hate to move to the courts, but since I'm still being ignored it's looking like I'm going to have no choice. It will most likely cost thousands of our dollars to defend a suit...and for what? I still have not been contacted by any supervisor about this matter.

Just More of the Same!

Nothing like living with the crushing of vehicles, listening to them being loaded and then hauled away like nothing is wrong. This isn't a flower shop that's not licensed, these are junked vehicles with their dripping fluids being moved around with a fork lift, then the glass broken out of them.

Why, my property value must have gone up 2 or 300% since this place moved across the road.

Oh, and let's not forget the dripping fluids making their way into the ground water or creek.

But it's not a junk yard...

Notice the two tone ford pickup under the car in the dump truck?
Click on the image for a better view.

Just More of the Same!

Wouldn't it be nice to have a junk yard by your property?
I think everyone should have one...

Meeting, Monday March 14th

I had plans and paperwork to attend the meeting on the 14th but work got in the way again. Seems like their was quite a bit of discussion to my favorite meme with the supervisors about enforcement of the Junkyard and other ordinances our supervisors took an oath to uphold. The one this time was the corner of Bloomster Hollow and Route 6. Like Mr. Belitskus said, this and other properties have been brought up before to the supervisors but no action has ever been followed through on.

I've been attending meetings since 2006 for the same reasons, some 80 meetings that have resulted in no actions taken for the property across the street from mine or the other locations in the Township that I've fought to have cleaned up, including the Bloomster Hollow property. It's time the Supervisors act like supervisors and enforce the ordinances they took the oath to uphold or they should gather up their things off the table they sit behind and let the people put someone in place that will do the job. Enough BS about a code enforcement officer, another person that would have to be paid to perform the duties the Supervisors have the obligation to do. Everything that a code enforcement officer would do still would have to come back through the Township Supervisors to move forward. It's just a game to them.

Meeting, Monday March 14th

Does that look like it's not a junk yard(click on it for a larger view), with vehicles stacked on top of each other dripping fluids onto the ground, all on impervious soil that was brought in in violation of the storm water management ordinance? Do you think that what ever property might be downhill from this mess might be affected? What do you think supervisors? I guess we'll have to see what a judge thinks at the Taxpayers expense!

Anyways, here's the article that appeared in the Bradford Era and a link to the article on the paper's website is below.

HAZEL HURST — As communities across McKean County continue to combat the all too common problem of blight, several people from Bloomster Hollow addressed the Hamlin Township Supervisors about a property on Bloomster Hollow Road which appears to have gotten out of hand.

Gail Riddell of Bloomster Hollow said a property on Bloomster Hollow Road, which has accumulated a considerable amount of junk, presents environmental, safety and health issues for township residents. Riddell wants the township to enforce their junkyard ordinance.

Hamlin Township Ordinance 21 addresses the regulation of junkyards, including scrap yards, automobile graveyards, and the abatement of nuisances and unlicensed junkyards. The ordinance details definitions of junkyards, licensing information, and fines for nuisance junk yards.

Riddell said there is currently no ordinance enforcement of the township junkyard ordinance.

Supervisor Ken Stroup offered to speak to the property owner to discuss the issue.

Supervisor Jim Myers noted the resident has been sent multiple notices about the junk, but to no avail. Myers said the township even considered hiring a code enforcement officer, and had three interviews for the position. However, the township found no takers.

Riddell's daughter, Lori Gideon, just wants to see if something, anything, can be done.
“It's a dump,” Gideon claims.

Carolyn Snead of Sergeant Township said if the property is not cleaned up soon, someone will get hurt. Snead understands this cleanup will be a process, and knows the township has been working on it. Snead said the owner of the property may not have the means to clean-up the junk. She asked Myers and Stroup if the township would provide a truck and some supervision to haul the junk away. Both men indicated they would be in favor of such a move.

Bill Belitskus of Lantz Corners said he has heard these promises made by township supervisors since he started attending the meetings in 1993. These promises are not always kept, Belitskus said. In this case, he said the supervisors have the authority to act and enforce the ordinance as the property has become a potential health and safety issue, but Belitskus remains skeptical that any action will be taken. “What is the excuse for not enforcing ordinances this time?” Belitskus asked.

Stroup said he would like to enforce the ordinance but was not sure how to be effective in doing so. Belitskus asked if a part-time code enforcement officer could be hired. Myers suggested Belitskus be sent for the training, as he may be suitable for the position. Stroup wants something that will be effective, as code enforcement officers cannot arrest anyone, and levying fines has not seemed to be effective thus far.

Former supervisor Dave Okerlund said there is a process to follow, starting with a warning, then fines, and if the fines are not paid a lien is attached to the property. Okerlund said if it gets that far, it will likely wind up in the township's possession and it will be a burden on the township to clean up the mess. Belitskus said if there is a process, then follow it. He said the City of Bradford is sticking to its plan and enforcing ordinances and things are beginning to get done.

In other news, the supervisors adopted several resolutions. The first resolution was to appoint a firm of certified public accountants to make an audit of the accounts in the 2015 fiscal year in the place of the elected auditors.

The second resolution was to appoint an open records officer, who will be secretary-treasurer Kathy Sluga.

The supervisors then authorized vacancy board chairman Dale “Wally” Howard to petition the Court of Common Pleas to fill the vacancy of auditors. The supervisors then approved a sewer module on Brights Road, which was already approved by township sewage enforcement officer Todd Fantaskey.

The next supervisors meeting will be held at 7 p.m. April 11.

http://www.bradfordera.com/news/hamlin-township-supervisors-discuss-junk-on-property/article_3e7e36ec-ea58-11e5-8c6c-cb6107e5800a.html

October 12, 2015

The regular Hamlin Township meeting was held on October 12, 2015 at 7:00pm at the Hamlin township office with Chairman James Trussell presiding. Township supervisor Dave Okerlund was present, Supervisor Myers was absent.

Full story »

Hamlin Township Junk Yard Ordinance

For anyone that hasn't read the ordinance and maybe the supervisors haven't either, I'm including it here for future reference. How many places in the township does this ordinance apply to? Without leaving Route 6 I count four...

ORDINANCE NO. 21
REGULATING JUNK DEALERS, THE ESTABLISHMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF JUNK YARDS, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO AUTOMOBILE JUNK OR GRAVE YARDS, THE STORAGE AND DISPOSAL OF SCRAP, REFUSE, AND JUNKED ARTICLES, PROVIDED FOR THE ISSUANCE OF LICENSES FOR JUNK DEALERS AND FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF JUNK YARDS UNDER PRESCRIBED CONDITIONS, PRESCRIBING REMEDIES FOR THE ABATEMENT OF NUISANCES AND UNLICENSED JUNK YARDS AND SCRAP YARDS AND PRESCRIBING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATORS

BE IT ENACTED AND ORDAINED by the Supervisors of the Township of Hamlin, in the County of McKean, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and it is hereby enacted and ordained by the authority of the same;

Section 1. Short Title. This ordinance shall be known and may be cited as "Hamlin Township Junk Yard Ordinance".

Section 2. Definitions. Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following words and phrases shall be construed throughout the ordinance to have the meaning herein indicated:

A. Person. Shall include any individual, partnership, association firm or corporation.

B. Township. Shall mean Hamlin Township, McKean County, Pennsylvania.

C. Board. Shall mean the Board of Supervisors of Hamlin township.

D. Junk Yard. Shall mean any place where any junk as hereinafter defined, is stored, disposed of, or accumulated.

E. Junk. Shall mean any discarded material or article and shall include, but not limited to, scrap, metal, junked motor vehicles, machinery, equipment, paper, glass, containers and structures.

F. Junk dealer. Shall mean any person, as herein defined, who buys, salvages or stores junk, or who owns, leases, maintains or operates a junk yard within the township.

G. Junked Motor Vehicle. Shall mean all types of automobiles, trucks, tractors and self-propelled machinery of all types, except useful farm machinery, for which no motor vehicle registration plate or yearly renewable tab is displayed for the current registration year as issued by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Section 3. License. No person shall be a junk dealer or maintain a junk yard without first having obtained a license from the Board, for which license a fee as hereinafter set forth shall be paid to the Township for the use of the Township. The license shall be issued for a twelve (12) month period beginning on the date of issuance. Each license must be renewed annually on or before the anniversary date of original issuance.

Section 4. Application for License. The license provided for in this ordinance shall be issued by the Board after written application shall have been made therefor by the person desiring to be licensed. Such license shall state the name of the person to whom such license is issued and the premises on which such business is to be conducted or such junk yard is to be maintained. Such license shall be posted conspicuously upon the premises licensed there under. The written application for license herein above mentioned shall be accompanied by a form, every question of which must be answered, which form will be supplied by the board. The applicant shall also submit therewith a plot of the premises used or to be used in connection with such license.

Section 5. Issuance of License. Upon receipt of an application by the Board, the Board shall examine the license and inspect the premises to be licensed and shall issue a license only if it finds that the applicant and premises comply with this ordinance and all other applicable ordinances and state and federal laws. In the event the Board shall issue a license, it may impose upon the license and the person applying therefor such terms and conditions in addition to the regulations herein contained and adopted pursuant to this ordinance as may be deemed necessary to carry out the spirit and intent of this ordinance.

Section 6. License Fee. The license fee shall be paid immediately upon the issuance or renewal of a license. The amount of the license fee is $50.00 annually.

Section 7. License Limitation. No person licensed under this ordinance shall, by virtue of one license, keep more than one place of business for the purpose of buying, selling and dealing in junk, or maintain more that one junk yard. No person shall engage in business as a junk dealer in any place other than the place designated upon his license or maintain a junk yard in any place other than the place of designated upon the license.

Section 8. Transfer of License. No license issued under this ordinance by the Board shall be transferable.

Section 9. Regulations. Every person licensed under this ordinance shall constantly maintain the licensed premises in accordance with any special provisions imposed by the Board and in the manner prescribed by this ordinance and subsequent regulations adopted by the Board:

A. Such premises shall at all times be maintained so as not to cause public or private nuisance or a menace to the health of the community or of residents nearby or a place for the breeding or harboring of rodents or vermin.

B. No garbage or organic waste shall be stored on such premises.

C. The manner of storage and arrangement of junk and the drainage facilities of the premises shall be such as to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water upon the premises and to facilitate access for fire-fighting purposes.

D. All junk kept, stored or arranged on the licensed premises shall at all times be kept, stored and arranged within the junk yard as described in the application for the license here under and as limited under paragraph (C) above

E. The premises to be licensed shall be set back a minimum distance of fifty (50) feet from the edge of the traveled portion of all streets or roads or highways and a minimum distance of twenty-five (25) feet from all other property lines. The area between the said set back line and the edge of the traveled portion of all streets and roads/highways and all other property lines shall be at all time, kept clear and vacant.

F. When the Board shall deem it necessary and desirable, the premises to be licensed shall at the set back lines be enclosed by a fence of type and style to be determined by the Board of by evergreen screen plantings or both. The board may set forth the fence and planting requirements at the time of the issuance of a license or at the time of renewal or transfer of a license.

Section 10. Violations. Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this ordinance shall upon conviction there of, by a summary proceeding, be sentenced to pay not more than One Thousand ($1,000) Dollars, plus the costs of prosecution, provided that each day's violation of any of these provisions of this ordinance shall constitute a separate offense.

Section 11. Abatement of Nuisances. In addition to the remedies provided in Section 10 above, any continued violations of this ordinance which shall constitute a nuisance in fact or which shall in the opinion of the Board constitute a nuisance may be abated by proceeding against the violator in a court of equity for relief.

Section 12. Sever-ability. If any section of this ordinance shall be found to be invalid the remaining sections are hereby deemed severable and shall not be affected thereby.

Section 13. Existing Junk Yards. Junk dealers and junk yards operating and existing in the Township on the date of enactment of this ordinance shall be required to comply with its provisions and to obtain a license within six (6) months of said date.

Approved, adopted and enacted into an ordinance this 7th day of August, A.D. 1989, to become effective immediately. Signatures on the original document are Kilmer, Keesler and Nunn

Township Meeting on the 13th of July

I have to admit that I've not attended a Township meeting for over a year but I took my two complaints to the supervisors personally this last Monday. To my surprise the meeting was ran in a professional manner and the public was actually engaged in a meaningful conversation with the supervisors. Again, very pleased with the professionalism.

I brought two complaints like I mentioned, both of them for violations of laws/ordinances that we have in place to protect everyone. One is the Junkyard ordinance and the other is the Storm Water Management ordinance. Both violations have/are occurring across Route 6 from my home.

Supervisor Myer's was very upfront that he had no idea how to handle enforcement. Not sure if this is good or bad, but I respect the honesty.The procedure is very straight forward. 1st, a letter is sent giving the accused 30 days to respond and if that letter is ignored, proceed with filing a single piece of paper with the District Magistrate and let them handle it. The supervisors will have then fulfilled their obligation to the Township.

I also put myself on the agenda for next months meeting so that I can have a meaningful conversation about the violations and how we get them straightened out. Another step in the process.