BELMONT – The salvage license of a long-time auto body shop owner and salvage yard operator was denied by selectmen after learning from the town code enforcement officer that owner had not complied with state environmental requests and town requests to do something about the tires on his property.
Code Enforcement Officer Steve Paquin said he had been holding Gordon Walker's license since the beginning of the year. The business is at 130 Depot Road.
"He gets 30 tires a week and gets rid of about 10," said Paquin last night, noting that Walker is no longer doing auto body and only sells used tires for an income.
He told the board he was especially troubled by number of used tires in the back of his lot and the sheer number of them in the front of the building.
Walker was not at Monday's meeting. When reached for contact yesterday morning, Walker said that he thought it was being held last night and not Monday and that's why he didn't attend.
"In my opinion, I've done everything I was told to do," he said.
According to paperwork obtained from the Code Enforcement Office yesterday, on July 9 during its annual check of motor vehicle recycling facilities, the state Department of Environmental Services found that Walker was storing outside some containers of automotive liquids and that he was storing scrap tires in such a manner that water was collecting in them. He was given 45 days to fix the problems. Two follow-up letters, dated Aug. 31 and Nov. 12 and copied to the selectmen noted he was still in violation of best management practices established by the state.
Paquin told selectmen that Walker's shop still sufferes from damage done by agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in 2008 when they raided his home and business on a marijuana warrant and did some significant damage to his shop. Walker was found not guilty on all of the charges.
Walker said yesterday that he has never been able to fix his business and property from the actions of the police seven years ago and that he was just a guy trying to make a living in a business he's been in for over 30 years.
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