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Selectmen demand clean up of Knox Mountain Road dump site


June 23, 2010
SANBORNTON — Zoning enforcement officer Robert Ward told selectmen at a recent board meeting that time had run out for property owners Michael and Chris Knox, who have failed to clean up materials from their illegal dumping site on Knox Mountain Road a year after the town requested the cleanup.

Ward reviewed the timeline of the case with the board, which began with a complaint on April 9, 2009 filed by a neighbor of the men, saying she had seen the two dumping all types of construction materials on the property. In May of last year a letter from the Town of Sanbornton requested they comply with zoning ordinances and follow through with a letter to the town's zoning office outlining a schedule for the removal of the material from the property. Ward said he received no written response but did finally make verbal contact with the men late in 2009. At that time they told Ward they would comply with the ordinances and clean the site, which is located along the Class VI portion of the road.

In February of this year one of the two men came to see Town Assessor Robb Jutton to request an assessment of their property for Current Use. Jutton denied the request because of the dumping. Since then Ward told selectmen he has been going up to Knox Mountain Road periodically to see if any work was done to remove the shingles and other materials thrown on the property. Despite granting them a 30-day extension to complete the work there is still a "long way to go," Ward said.

"It still isn't done and I'm ready now to take further action," he said.

Ward presented the selectmen with a drafted letter, which reviewed the town's previous requests for compliance and now demanded the work to be done within 30 days or court action would follow.

Chairman David Nickerson said he had seen the property in the past and had observed dumping on the land there many years ago.

"I remember being up there and seeing they had an old cellar hole that they filled with asphalt shingles and other (construction and demolition) materials then covered it over," he said.

Nickerson felt the letter Ward wrote should include a requirement to uncover the cellar hole and remove the buried material as well.

"In other towns that's what would happen. Why have them clean a little and still leave the rest polluted up there?" said Nickerson.

All three selectmen agreed to officially give notice that legal recourse would be sought if the two Knox men did not comply. They asked that the letter first be sent to the town's legal council for review, after which time it was signed by Ward and all three selectmen and mailed last week.

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