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Supervisors say they'll keep an eye on junk owner

December 03, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Washington Township Supervisors, fearing that a junkyard owner under orders to clean up his property is "playing cat and mouse," said Monday they are keeping a photographic record of the owner's property.

"If he moves anything back on, then we got him," said Township Administrator Michael Christopher of George "Billy" Nicholas of Blue Ridge Summit, Pa.

Nicholas has been under a court order, issued in June by Common Pleas Judge Carol Van Horn, to remove about 1,000 tons of old vehicles, construction equipment, trailers, appliances and junk from his property on the corner of Pennersville and Tower roads.

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The township, acting on complaints from neighbors, has been after Nicholas for more than two years with official warnings to clean up his property, said Jerry Zeigler, zoning enforcement officer for the township.

At Monday's supervisors' meeting, Zeigler said Nicholas, whose 6 acres are spread over five properties, has cleaned up some of the junk himself.

The township hired G&S Auto Garage of Waynesboro to remove the biggest items - heavy construction equipment, old dump trucks, a concrete mixing truck, old cranes and the like on Nicholas' property.

The township doesn't have the equipment for such heavy work, Christopher said.

G&S started removing the items in late November and is expected to finish the cleanup work this week.

Christopher showed photos of the work in progress taken by Zeigler. More photos will be taken when the work is complete so the township has a photographic record of Nicholas' property, Christopher said.

Zeigler said G&S has hauled about 100 tons away. Another 50 tons remain for G&S to remove and about 20 tons of trash that the township will haul away.

Nicholas was officially notified in 2000 that he was in violation of the township's ordinance governing junk cars and auto salvage yards.

The township backed off when Nicholas filed for bankruptcy. When he failed to live up to the mandates of the bankruptcy, it was thrown out of court and the township moved forward with its criminal case against him.

In her order, Van Horn said any proceeds from the sale of the items removed from the Nicholas property can be used to offset the cost of cleaning it up, Christopher said.

"We have to be vigilant," Christopher said. "We can't let him go on like we did before."

Nicholas could not be reached for comment. Directory assistance found no listing for him.

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