Numerous citations, town code enforcement visits, court actions decisions and certified letters were sent to the Lyon Road address for well over a year. Each visit and notice was ignored until the Town of Palmyra decided to take a final action.
David (Dave) Morrison, is well-known for ignoring municipal and State DEC (Department of Conservation) warnings in the past. For decades, originally in the Town of Macedon at O’Neil and Canandaigua Roads, Morrison operated a similar operation, and continued his business for over a decade at the Lyon Road property. Morrison has continued to collect literally tons of metals, tractors, scrap vehicles, machines, assorted garbage and fallen trees on the property. He purchased the 3.4 acre site on Lyon Road, that also includes two houses and a main building, in 2007 from former Town of Palmyra Supervisor Dave Lyon.
A build up of vehicles and trash and the lack of action by Morrison on the Lyon Road property led to both town and county court criminal actions, culminating with Monday’s (10/17) removal of various materials, including a large tractor trailer deposited on the property.
According to Palmyra Town Supervisor Ken Miller, “Action is driven by complaints.”
Several years ago, the town board and code enforcement decided to require that any neighbor/resident or business complaint about a particular property would require a signed complaint, with the person’s name and address. “We used to send someone out every time a verbal complaint was made, and often, the neighbors denied calling in, saying everything was fine,” said Miller.
There are currently close to $40,000 in fines and penalties levied against Mr. Morrison that remains unpaid. The clean up of the property is also a cost to the Town taxpayers. The fines and costs will be attached to his property taxes, but if unpaid, it lands on the taxpayers’ heads.
There were numerous certified letters sent to Dave Morrison prior to the clean up this week. “He knew it was coming. This was no surprise. Salvage metals could have been salvaged by Mr. Morrison prior to the clean up date,” noted Miller. Police were even called in to oversee the clean up operation.”
The Town of Palmyra finally put out bids to contractors for the clean-up, won by K&D Disposal in Palmyra. K&D owner, Kevin Wright said he considers Morrison a friend, and was torn by accepting the job.
When Morrison had been advised of the junk removal by certified letters, in the days and weekend before the action, he reportedly moved trucks, other vehicles and materials to property at 3049 Bird Road in the Town of Manchester in Ontario County, where he now continues to operate.
On Monday (10/17) morning, Morrison stood firm, refusing the K&D trucks and crews from entering the property. Finally, a Wayne County Deputy was sent to the site and Morrison complied, begrudgingly, as the process commenced.
Large trucks, dumpsters, earth movers and shovels were brought in to begin the task of clearing the property. Wright said his crews would take the rest of the week to finalize the junk removal, while still maintaining his regular work schedule at K&D. The clean-up fees only cover above ground items and do not cover any fluids that may or may not have seeped into the ground.
A defiant Morrison proclaimed the clean-up actions were illegal and claimed that the Town of Palmyra and County Court Judge Richard Healy were prejudice in the case and were “violating” his rights. He described Judge Healy’s decisions in the case as “criminal” and said he would take his case to the federal level.
Morrison, with a box of documents sitting in the front seat of his vehicle, pulled out numerous, underlined papers with scores of objections to the years- long battle.
Morrison, purchased the Palmyra property under commercial use and began the process of taking anything and everything he could that would produce income. The charges began compiling on Morrison as far back as 2010 and have worked up to Monday’s actions.
Morrison said he could not comply with the legal action due to his poor health and prior heart attack this past year, but this has been an ongoing problem for years.
Kevin Wright said most of the metals recovered from the Lyon Road site would be taken to Alpco Recycling in Macedon. He stated that materials that could not be recycled would likely end up as garbage in landfills.
It is estimated that the Town of Palmyra, with the legal fees, fines accumulated and clean-up charges, will be stuck with in excess of $40,000 on the Lyon Road property taxes that Morrison would owe.
It is also believed that Morrison may allow the property to go into default for non-payment of property taxes. The burden would then, according to County Administrator Rick House, potentially fall on all Wayne County taxpayers, making Palmyra whole on the accumulated charges.