The condition of a property owned by Jesse Reed on State Route 3 in the hamlet of Redford was discussed at the most recent meeting of the Saranac Town Council. The property houses Reed’s business, Recycling Technologies, which deals with recycling scrap metal.
The town of Saranac could be on its way to court to prosecute a local landowner.
During his regular report to the Saranac Town Council Monday night, Town Attorney Frank G. Zappala gave the council an update on a property that has been under scrutiny in recent months for being a blight in the hamlet of Redford.
The property, located on State Route 3, is owned by Jesse Reed and, as Zappala explained following the meeting, the issue of the property being an eyesore has been ongoing for several years.
“[Reed] has had business activities going on at the property for some time,” said Zappala. “The issue always was whether or not he was in compliance with the laws that were applicable to the property.”
Reed owns and operates Recycling Technologies, a scrap metal recycling business, on the property. The matter of contention, said Zappala, has been the amount of “junk” on Reed’s property that has been dubbed an eyesore by those who have complained about the matter.
“It’s been an ongoing, constantly changing problem that we have to address periodically,” said Zappala.
Back in 2009, the town filed a petition against Reed stating he was in violation of town codes which prohibit excessive debris on properties within the town. The petition, initially filed in Saranac Town Court, was transferred to Black Brook Town Court due to a conflict of interest with the justices who served in Saranac, said Zappala.
Ultimately, Reed was ordered to pay a one-time fine and clean up his property. However, the issue has presented itself again, said Zappala, who has been working with Town Code Enforcement Officer Todd Perry to investigate the matter. Zappala told the council Monday night he foresees the council going back to court “in the near future.”
“It’s a matter of not complying with the laws that are on the books,” said Zappala. “In our opinion, there is a consistent disregard with the proper way to run a business on his property.”
When reached for comment Tuesday, Reed said he understands and appreciates the town’s point of view regarding his property and offered an explanation as to the amount of debris that has reaccrued on his land.
“We were doing really good and were just slammed with cars [to recycle] and we could not clean up fast enough,” said Reed.
Reed said he’s also had equipment problems in recent weeks that have led to an inability to keep his property cleared as routinely as both he and the town would like.
“We recycle so many metals,” he continued. “Piles go down and come back up. In another week it will be all gone again.”
Reed said he has not been contact by Perry regarding the most recent code issue concerns and welcomed a discussion with the code enforcement officer if it means resolving the issue.
“I don’t want [the town] to put me out of business,” said Reed, who said he wanted to avoid paying “exorbitant fines.”
Zappala offered an explanation of the town’s course of action Monday night, which will be primarily to further investigate the matter.
“We’re looking to see if there are violations, and if there are violations, to prosecute [Reed] and to bring him into compliance,” said Zappala.