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Residents oppose car-wrecking site

by The Western News
| January 19, 2012 2:47 PM

Robert Payne’s neighbors lauded the owner of Payne Logging Co., for his attempts at cleaning up his property at 99 My Road, but that praise stopped short of endorsing his plan for a motor-vehicle wrecking facility on the 12.7-acre site.

Payne appeared before the Lincoln County Commissioners on Wednesday to plead his case for the request during a public hearing.

In all, 19 people attended the hearing in which numerous neighbors in the area voiced opposition to the planned site.

“Bob has been a good neighbor,” said neighbor Debbie Zwang. “However, his property borders six neighbors. We are concerned about property devaluation, what this could mean to the wells and for increased noise levels,” Zwang said.

“I don’t think the pluses of one can trump all the neighbors in the area,” Zwang said.

Patti Dalby, who lives at 58 Edgewater Drive, said she opposes the wrecking site because she is concerned for the oils and gasoline that could leak out and enter the groundwater, and she is concerned about the anticipated noise such a site could bring.

 Reasons stated for opposing the site include its close proximity to J. Neils Park, anticipated noise increases, acids from leaking batteries, mercury from switches, petroleum hydrocarbons and heavy metals, all substances within the vehicles to be demolished.

 Allan Payne, the son of Bob Payne, spoke on behalf of the proposal, stating that under the current situation, there is no regulation at the site. However, if granted, his father would have to meet certain environmental standards as required by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

 “If anything, there will be more control at this site, if approved,” Allan Payne said.

 Steve Dalby, an attorney, also spoke against the site.

 “Bob, you are aware that you have to build a fence to fence, to keep from public view?” Steve Dalby asked.

  Payne responded by saying, he’s “just trying to clean up my place.”

  Some residents hinted that the Payne property is an eyesore, especially as neighbors use the walking path that runs adjacent to the Payne property.

  “(The path) is an outreach,” Patti Dalby said. “You walk it, and it’s beautiful, and then you see this.”

Payne’s son, Allan Payne, admitted he does not particularly want to own a motor-vehicle wrecking facility. Payne is the heir-apparent to the facility should it be approved.

“My dad wants it,” Payne said.

Commissioners Tony Berget and Ron Downey conducted the hearing in the absence of Presiding Commissioner Marianne Roose, who was in Washington, D.C.

No decision was made on recommending approval of the site, as the board wants to discuss with Roose.

However, final approval will come from the state. The commissioners will make a recommendation and forward that decision to the state.