LONDONDERRY — Town councilors are taking their annual look at two local junkyard businesses.
Councilors approved a license renewal for Murray's Auto Salvage at a meeting June 15 and will take up a second business, S&S Metals, at a special meeting June 29.
Murray's is located at 55 Hall Road, and S&S Metals is at 196 Rockingham Road.
Murray's and S&S are the only two remaining junkyard businesses in town, town code enforcement officer/building inspector Richard Canuel said and licensing is considered every year at this time. Licensing expires July 1.
For the re-licensing of both Murray's and S & S, Canuel said both were following the town's rules as per licensing requirements when it comes to operating as a scrap/auto junkyard business.
He added there were some visits out to Murray's to give owner Ed Dudek Jr. notice that some things had to be fixed as per the licensing conditions.
That included making sure cars were not stacked and visible above a fabric fence on the property.
Canuel said if any conditions of the businesses were out of compliance this past year, it was a simple notification brought to the owner and issues were resolved.
Murray's has had a long history with the town and several abutters for many years, sparking lawsuits, court orders and other licensing issues. The business also suffered a major fire in 2015.
Edward Dudek has owned Murray's for two decades, but similar businesses have operated at the site since the 1950s.
Some neighbors continue to fight for additional town oversight when it comes to the junkyard.
Richard Bielinski lives at 89 Hall Road and has been outspoken for years about the conditions at Murray's. He called in to the Council meeting to continue to voice concerns about what Dudek's property looks like.
Bielinski also provided councilors with photos of Murray's property showing stacked cars and fence damage.
"Cars have been over the fence 80 to 90% of the year," Bielinski said during his call. "This is a continuing, continuing problem. For 20 years it gets cleaned up this time of year and it will be good for two, three, four weeks. Then we go right back to the same situation."
Councilors decided to hold a special meeting to continue discussion on the S&S issue, to try and rectify that property's issues with having trailers and other vehicles often visible from the road, against licensing guidelines.
Officials will also work with Dudek to possibly get a more solid type of fencing installed instead of the fabric that tends to rip easily and will make sure he is following a court order on how to operate his business.
In other Council news:
— Councilors heard details from Town Manager Kevin Smith about the status of the upcoming Old Home Day celebration traditionally held for five days in August. Due to the pandemic, Smith said this year, organizers hope to hold a one-day schedule of events, keeping safe distancing and other guidelines in place.
Smith said the parade could go on with safe distancing measures, and the road race, and Derry/Londonderry fire and police softball game. Fireworks could also take place during the evening.
There will be no Kidz Night or Senior Night, and no booths on the Town Common. Smith said pulling off Old Home Day safely will require a lot of public education about how things will be handled.
Smith also gave an update on the official re-opening of Town Hall, giving a lot of credit to town officials who worked hard to make opening day run safely and smoothly. He still encouraged people to use online resources for making business transactions or to use the Town Hall drop-off box.