At the last Jefferson town council meeting, New Jersey Avenue residents expressed their frustration that "hazardous material" on neighboring rental properties were not being addressed.
Tim Clancy and his wife Karen have called New Jersey Avenue their home for years and were so dismayed by the lack of progress they hired attorney Tom D. Flinn to help them with their concerns.
According to Flinn, the residents said several claims have been ignored by the town since early September:
- A scrap business was apparently being run on the property
- An unregistered truck was dumped on the property
- Tenants were disposing of garbage/trash (some hazardous) in other neighbor’s receptacles
- One of the rentals was in a dire state of disrepair
- One of the rentals has an exterior deck with is unsafe
- One of the rentals has a furnace overdue for inspection
Special Police Officer Andrew Diamond, from the Jefferson Township Police Department, took a look at the property and issued violations on the truck and stated that one of the rentals was not adequate for habitation, resulting in the placement of an orange sticker on the window.
Diamond also informed Clancy that if he continued to complain, he would be in the wrong for harassment.
Other neighbors like Karen Miller, have complained about dismissive police officers when calls have been made to the station regarding the unsafe property.
Council President Richard Yocum said no resident should feel like they are being disrespected by police officers.
“If that is what is happening, it’s going to stop now,” Yocum said. “The administration will make sure of that.”
According to the residents, more air conditioning units, television sets, e-waste and other hazardous materials have been sighted on the rental properties since the town meeting.
Concern and frustration does not just reside within the Clancy household. Other neighbors are speaking out too.
“I notice they've had containers on the trailer today and one of them was spilling onto the driveway. I don't know what it was if it was transmission fluid or what, but it was a lot of it,” said one resident who declined to give her name. “Having stuff like that spill into the ground you just don't do near the lake. Especially with kids and dogs walking down the block.”
Mayor Russ Felter said it would be best to get the neighbors together first to sort out all complaints and figure out what the township can legally do and then have a second meeting that includes the landlord.
“If we have him there at the first meeting, we’re not going to make a lot of progress,” Felter said.