PJ Council talks trash


Hears residents’ concerns about enforcement

By Matt Clayton - For the Sidney Daily News



An unlicensed, unused vehicle at 314 West Wall St. in Port Jefferson was the subject of heated discussion during Monday’s village council meeting.

An unlicensed, unused vehicle at 314 West Wall St. in Port Jefferson was the subject of heated discussion during Monday’s village council meeting.


Matt Clayton | Sidney Daily News

PORT JEFFERSON — Discussions were heated during the Monday, April 2, meeting of the Port Jefferson Village Council.

Thirteen village residents attended and several spoke after Port Jefferson Mayor Steve Butterfield displayed a recent copy of the Sidney Daily News with a headline story about Port Jefferson’s plan to crack down on cleaning up the village.

Butterfield noted the village will send notices to all residents and landowners in the village concerning council’s intent to enforce current regulations on burn piles, storing trash and other materials and removing junk and unlicensed or inoperable cars, trucks and other items from residential lawns.

“We will be enforcing current ordinances to get our town cleaned up. Violators will be notified and charged for noncompliance if necessary and face charges in our Mayor’s Court or Sidney Municipal Court, depending on which way we decide to go,” Butterfield said.

Port Jefferson resident Gene Schloss noted the need for a fence around the dumpster at McCrary’s Metal Polishing Inc., as some people, including himself, use the dumpster for their own personal trash and it tends to overflow and blow out making a mess for him to clean up.

“The dumpster is close to where I live, and I have to go out and pick up everything from McDonald’s bags to sanding discs. This is the kind of thing that helps make our town look bad,” Schloss said. Schloss also noted he had been fined $180 in Sidney Municipal court in the past for not removing what was deemed a junk car from the property where he lives.

“I want to put up a privacy fence around that car. I don’t want any more fines and no more trouble, and I don’t want my car hauled off,” Schloss said.

“Yes, Gene, you did get a fine, but you were not the only one who received a notice to remove a junk car. About a dozen other people did, as well, but they did not get fined because they removed the cars like they were supposed to,” Butterfield said. Schloss then said the car was operable and not junk, and he had intentions of restoring it as a collector car but did not want to license it, as he would then have to insure it, that he was “just storing it” until such a time when money was available to fix it up.

Butterfield then noted, “Cars and other vehicles not licensed or being used must be stored in a building, not sitting out in the yard with tires on top of it.”

Schloss then said the tires were on the car to hold down the tarp that was partially covering it because vandals had broken out the back window of the car. Schloss dominated a discussion that became heated at times with nearly all of council responding to the ongoing debate on what was and wasn’t allowed. The conversation went off topic at times and no decision was made about whether fencing Schloss’s car would suffice, as there was not enough information on the size or style of fence requested. One person in attendance pointed out that putting a fence around a car is like making a miniature junkyard.

Finally Butterfield said; “Gene, you give me a call, and we’ll go look at the situation to see what can be done. I’m not saying you can put up a fence. That will be up to council, but if they let you do it, then we are opening a can of worms and will have to let everyone else do the same. I’m not making any promises at this point.”

Before closing the meeting, Butterfield said he expected a lot of flak about getting things cleaned up around town.

“I didn’t expect this to be easy, and it’s going to take a little time, but we will get the job done one way or the other. I also want to point out that our residents need to check on existing ordinances to see if any future plans they have fall in line with the regulations now in place. Not doing so may invite problems down the road. It’s a lot easier to do things right in the first place than trying to come back and fix things after the fact.”

The next scheduled council meeting will be May 5 at 7 p.m. in the Port Jefferson Community Center.

An unlicensed, unused vehicle at 314 West Wall St. in Port Jefferson was the subject of heated discussion during Monday’s village council meeting.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2018/04/web1_Junk-car.jpgAn unlicensed, unused vehicle at 314 West Wall St. in Port Jefferson was the subject of heated discussion during Monday’s village council meeting. Matt Clayton | Sidney Daily News
Hears residents’ concerns about enforcement

By Matt Clayton

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.