, Derry, New Hampshire

September 19, 2013

Londonderry's junkyard wars may still be brewing

By Julie Huss

---- — LONDONDERRY — Almost a month after the town gave a local junkyard a renewed license, neighbors hope the business owner follows the rules.

Town councilors approved the license last month, giving local scrap dealer Ed Dudek Jr. another year to operate his business, Murray’s Auto Recycling at 55 Hall Road.

Dudek is an annual fixture before the town when it’s time to renew his license. Every year, it also stirs up neighbors who want the operation cleaned up.

Gerard Adams lives at 54 Hall Road and came before councilors last week to ask them to make sure Dudek follows the rules of his license, including making sure his crushed vehicles stay stacked below the fence line.

Another sticking point for Adams is Dudek’s hours of operation for his scrap yard.

For Adams, it’s been years of complaints about the junkyard. That includes numerous court cases, different councilors making decisions, and a list of problems that keep creeping up every year when it’s license renewal time.

At the last meeting prior to the license approval, attorneys for all sides met in closed session to talk out a plan so everyone would be happy.

That included putting terms on Dudek so he would make sure he followed the rules when it comes to stacking his vehicles, hours of operation and making his building look better with new siding.

But now, not even a month later, Adams told councilors he is concerned he town won’t enforce Dudek’s operation to make sure he follows the rules.

“We want you to help us feel better about living there,” Adams said.

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

He said he’s doing his best to run a clean, successful business.

“I’m a good neighbor, I take care of my neighbors,” he said last month. “We’re always helping each other out all the time.”

After councilors gave Dudek his license renewal, Chairman John Farrell told Dudek and Adams to continue to work on a positive relationship moving forward. He said any contention between the two parties would have to be settled outside council chambers.

“We tried to move someplace toward the middle,” Farrell said. “We did all we could.”