Saugerties, NY — Members of the Town Board have ordered a cleanup of the 480 Malden Turnpike. This is the result of years of court efforts to get property owner Leroy Haynes to remove debris and hazardous materials from her half-acre lot.
After a hearing last week, supervisor Fred Costello said the lot was causing problems for neighbors with owners refusing to comply with the court’s ruling.
“There have been multiple accusations of discharging an unknown liquid substance,” he said.
“There is an idea that neighbors have contaminated some pet water supplies,” Costello said. “
In a resolution to take action, officials said the town would “consider removing buildings, structures, pests, debris, garbage and unregistered vehicles.”
Costello said the code enforcement effort spanned about eight years, but the amount of cleanup required was clearly too high for the owners.
“I don’t think they have the means,” he said. “Their cleanup effort was to move mountains from one place to another. That’s not really getting us what we want.”
Under recently adopted property management laws, authorities can take steps to clear parcels and add costs to tax bills.
“We have been fined by the court and the cleanup schedule has not been met,” Costello said.
“The court’s toolbox for rectifying the situation is to assess fines, set deadlines, and if there is no compliance, theoretically there is jail,” he said. The situation is not going to improve.Part of the motivation for this law is actually … to remedy violations that are affecting our neighbors, and that is where we are headed in this matter.”
Haynes could not be reached immediately for comment.