By Julie Huss
---- — LONDONDERRY — The town’s junkyard wars are finally over — for now.
Town councilors approved a license Monday night, giving local scrap dealer Ed Dudek Jr. another year to operate his business, Murray’s Auto Recycling at 55 Hall Road.
Every year, Dudek has to come before the town for a junkyard license renewal hearing and, every year, it reignites struggles with neighbors opposing its operation and appearance.
Dudek appeared before the Town Council several times in the past months.
The Bedford businessman has operated Murray’s since 1997, but the junkyard has been in town since the 1950s.
Code Enforcement Officer Richard Canuel said there have been numerous court actions through the years between Murray’s and the neighborhood.
One of the outstanding issues is making sure crushed vehicles don’t top the height of the junkyard fence. Another sticking point was Dudek’s hours of operation.
Dudek assured councilors he would maintain the proper level of stacked vehicles. His official hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Gerard Adams of 54 Hall Road has had issues with the junkyard for many years. 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.
Adams and his wife, Claudet, appeared again Monday and said they were still worried about Dudek’s hours of operation and the property’s appearance.
Lawyers for all sides — the town, the Adams and Dudek — met privately prior to the final vote to try to come to terms about the junkyard moving forward.
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.
Dudek said he’s always done the right thing when it comes to his business and does what the town wants.
He wants the issue put to bed.
“Why do all these people have all this power over me?” Dudek asked. “I just want to be treated like everybody else. That’s all I want.”
Dudek has neighbors who support what he does.
Lee Leblanc, 58 Hall Road, lives directly across the street from the junkyard. For 35 years, he said, he has had no problem with that property.
“I’ve seen this go on and on,” Leblanc said. “I think it’s ridiculous. (Dudek) is trying to make a living, but he continues to go through this every year.”
Dudek 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. “We’re always helping each other out all the time.”
Council Chairman John Farrell urged Dudek and the Adams to continue to work on a positive relationship moving forward. He said any further agreements or contention between the two parties would have to happen outside cCouncil chambers.
“I would love it if everything could work out,” he said. “Go forward and do the best you can.”