, Derry, New Hampshire

June 27, 2013

Town officials hear annual junkyard woes

By Julie Huss

---- — LONDONDERRY — A longtime junkyard in town always makes the news when it comes time to renew its license.

That’s because it brings up years and years of struggles with neighbors who have opposed its operation and its appearance.

Ed Dudek Jr., owner of Murray’s Auto Recycling at 55 Hall Road, appeared before the Town Council during a public hearing last week, seeking to renew his license.

The Bedford businessman has operated Murray’s since 1997, but the junkyard has been in town since the 1950s.

Every year when the license issue arises, the tension between certain abutters and Murray’s rises to the surface.

Code Enforcement Officer Richard Canuel said there have been numerous court actions through the years between Murray’s and the neighborhood. Some issues still need to be fixed.

“There are a number of outstanding issues brought to my attention by abutting property owners,” Canuel said. “Some issues remain unresolved.”

Those findings, Canuel said, came from his extensive research of Murray’s past files, and a thorough look at the court actions and findings.

One of the outstanding issues is making sure crushed vehicles don’t top the height of the junkyard fence.

“That’s been an ongoing issue over the years,” Canuel said.

Neighbors don’t want to see any junk cars creeping above the perimeter fence. An office trailer on the site also is a point of contention for some.

A court order issued prior to Dudek taking ownership of the junkyard ordered the trailer be removed. It is still there, Canuel said.

The trailer’s location is a thorn in some neighbors’ sides.

Gerard Adams of 54 Hall Road said he had issues with the junkyard and the fact that fencing to hide the trailer had been removed.

“I have to object that it’s aesthetically pleasing without a fence in front of the trailer,” Adams said. “There are large stains in front of that building.”

Adams said he was also worried about large trucks holding up traffic on Hall Road when they arrived to pick up vehicles or drop them off at the junkyard.

Attorney Daniel Corley represented Dudek at the meeting. He said his client is a good businessman who has already spent thousands of dollars to make sure his junkyard is clean and run well.

“It’s one of the better facilities in Londonderry,” he said.

Dudek said he has plans for more upgrades to his property, including adding trees to hide any junk cars that may be seen by neighbors and to make sure no cars are stacked higher than the fence.

Officials told Dudek to replace the stained siding on his office trailer.

Rep. Al Baldasaro, R-Londonderry, lives at 41 Hall Road and abuts Dudek’s business. He said Murray’s is a good neighbor.

“I look from my porch and see straight into the junkyard,” he said. “When you are on Hall Road, you are either looking down into the junkyard or looking over. I’m impressed with what he’s done. It looks 150 percent better than any other junkyard in this town.”

Councilors will continue the junkyard license discussion at their next meeting on July 15.