LOUISVILLE - Richard C. and Joyce T. Reno purchased a home eight years ago off state Route 37B on the shores of the Grasse River, but since 2008 they feel like their property has been brought down by what they called a dump next door.
To me it is an eyesore and a dump, Mr. Reno said, referring to the property owned by Gary McGregor next door to his home.
Mr. Reno said the problems began in 2008 after Mr. McGregor began accepting fill at the property.
It defies clean fill. Clean fill is not rust, its not 100-year old tongue and groove sewer pipes, its not stumps half the size of your car, Mr. Reno said. It seems like anybody who wants to avoid the tipping fees for construction debris just dumps it there.
Those dumping at the site include the village of Massena.
All of the sewer pipe from the North Main Street project got dropped off there, Mr. Reno said.
The village dumped clean fill on the property from a sewer construction project at Mr. McGregors request last year, according to Department of Public Works Superintendent Hassan A. Fayad.
Were looking for places to dump because were running out of places, Mr. Fayad said. Periodically we get requests from people. Theyre looking for clean fill ... We dont go dumping on peoples property without them requesting it.
There is soil as well as broken up sewer pipe in the fill, Mr. Fayad said.
As long as theyre capping it, its all right, he said.
In 2009, the couple filed a complaint with the town of Louisville and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
To date I have not gotten a written response from the town of Louisville or the state, Mr. Reno said.
While he may not have gotten a written response, Mr. Reno said he did have two separate phone conversations regarding his complaint.
I did get a call from a girl who worked for the town, and she said there wasnt anything they could do about it, he said, adding he got the same answer in a phone call with the towns code enforcement officer, Anthony McManaman.
Mr. Reno said Mr. McManaman told him there wasnt enough teeth in Louisvilles zoning codes to do anything about it.
I didnt believe it then, and I dont believe it now, he said. I said to him, I could buy a lot out on Wilson Hill next to the nicest home there and do the same thing? He said, Yes.
In addition to the unsightliness of the property, Mr. Reno said runoff from the property flows onto his land.
There used to be a ditch, but he filled it, Mr. Reno said. Sometimes when Im mowing the lawn, the lawnmower will sink right into the land. We dont mind the idea of the dirt, its all of that other stuff, Mrs. Reno said.
Mr. McGregor said he plans to build a home on the property.
Ill be building a home down there, he said. Thats the last of the fill. Ill be leveling it off and covering it in grass.
Mr. McGregor said hes not accepting fill at the site anymore and hopes to begin construction on his home next spring.
I didnt even want anymore this year, but someone dumped down there without my permission, he said. We got to get the landscaping done first, and well probably start building in spring next year.
Mrs. Reno said that was good to hear, but not the first time theyve heard that.
Were glad to hear that he plans on building a home; we just wish it didnt take so long, she said. We heard the story about the house years ago.
Mr. McGregor said he wishes Mr. and Mrs. Reno would have come to him first to express their displeasure, but he stands by what hes done and is planning to do to the property.
I put those evergreens in there. They were $200 apiece, he said, referring to several trees planted along the boundary line between his land and the Renos property.
I think Im bettering the property, not hurting it. Mr. McGregor said.
Louisville Town Supervisor Larry R. Legault said he could not recall the Renos 2009 complaint, but he too wishes they would have come to him or another board member before now.
If theyre having an issue and cant get anywhere with our code enforcement officer, they should come to myself, another board member or attend a meeting and well help them anyway we can, he said.
Mr. McManaman was out of town Thursday and unavailable for comment.