I’ve reviewed the latest version of the Lewis County Junkyard Law No. 9-2019 and read that Lewis County Manager Ryan Piche stated in the Dec. 1, 2019, edition of the Watertown Daily Times that this issue will give the county more teeth. It needs to take a bigger bite in adhereing to the non-flexible requirements in the law to solve the infraction. Law No. 9-2019 needs to be abbreviated by deleting the non-essential requirements.
Earlier this year, I wrote letters with satellite images and my photos to Lewis County Senior Code Enforcement Officer Ward Dailey, Legislator Ronald Burns, Mr. Piche and County Attorney Joan McNichol. None of them responded to my questions. I have contacted Mr. Dailey concerning the latest status on the junk condition located at the rear of my residence on Main Street in Copenhagen as well as the licensed junkyard on Grove Street, which was approved by the county without the knowledge of the Village Board or the residents on Grove Street.
According to the minutes of July 9 of the Junkyard Review Board, the junk situation adjacent to my residence has been granted two months further to clear the property, although some of the junk items were removed earlier. Since then, more junk has reappeared.
Rather than having the five-member Junkyard Review Board involved with residential junkyard complaints, they should focus their attention strictly with the county-licensed junkyards that are in existence and performing annual inspections as required in the Junkyard Law. Mr. Dailey’s department should be involved mainly with residential site inspections, issuing citations, imposing fines and taking whatever legal action is necessary in resolving a complaint.
Junkyard condition violations could be resolved more efficiently and timely by providing Mr. Dailey’s department with a surveillance drone for site inspections to videotape violations and cleanups. The drone would eliminate the need for the enforcement officer to physically access the property.