, Derry, New Hampshire


June 26, 2014

Editorial: Let junkyard dogs lie

It’s a tradition as predictable as sugaring season and Concerts on the Common, just less enjoyable for all concerned.

Junkyard licenses have to be renewed annually, as well they should be.

It’s a business that attracts complaints like horses draw greenhead flies in a pasture on a summer afternoon.

Few people want to live next door to a junkyard.

But there’s been a junkyard at 55 Hall Road for more than 60 years, likely much longer than any of the neighbors who object to it.

Once again, Ed Dudek Jr. appeared before the Town Council last week to ask for a license renewal for Murray’s Auto Recycling. And, once again, neighbors showed up to voice their opposition.

There are three areas of concern: Keeping crushed cars below the top of the fence, not parking equipment in front of the facility and sticking to the approved hours of operation.

Those are all reasonable conditions of license renewal and Dudek must comply.

But, beyond that, a junkyard is a junkyard is a junkyard. Nothing’s going to change that.

By official accounts, Dudek runs his business within the confines of the conditions outlined in his license.

The town’s code enforcement officer said Dudek appears to be following the rules, despite many complaints from neighbors that he isn’t.

The operation is in compliance, Richard Canuel said.

The Town Council has given Dudek 60 days to make sure he’s following the letter of the law before his license is renewed.

If he meets the conditions, he will — and should — be granted a license to operate for another year.

Neighbors are justified in being vigilant, but if Dudek is doing as ordered by the town, constant complaints border on harassment.

It’s time, as Councilor John Farrell said, to move on.

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