Council takes action on Highway 50 Wrecking Yard |

Council takes action on Highway 50 Wrecking Yard

Nancy Dallas

DAYTON – The owner of the Highway 50 Wrecking Yard said he’s making changes to improve the looks of his business, despite the recent apprehension of the Dayton Regional Advisory Council.

A junkyard has been located on the site, fronting Highway 50 in Mound House, since the early 1950s. Its current owner, Claude McLennan, has had the business since 1967.

He said Friday that he has been making some improvements.

“It has been slow, but I have been working on the fence and other things the best I can,” he said.

The 75-year-old McLennan offered to cooperate with the county to clean things up and fix the fencing, but town council members said they have seen no visible changes.

Responsibility for resolving the ongoing concerns with the Highway 50 Wrecking Yard apparently will fall upon county officials.

Commissioner Bob Milz told the Dayton Regional Advisory Council Wednesday evening that the county must face up to the problem and asked the board for its help.

“I would like you to ask the commissioners to have the guts to take care of the problem once and for all,” Milz told the council. “I will help any way I can, but it is up to the board to file a complaint.”

The highly visible site along Highway 50 East near the Virginia City turnoff is considered by many to be a public eyesore and nuisance. Finding a responsible party to clean it up has been a source of disagreement for several years.

State Department of Transportation officials say there is no funding available to spend on the project because it is privately owned and not in the highway right-of-way.

The county claims it cannot enforce current codes because the business was established, and has not changed ownership, since county codes for junkyards were established in the 1970s.

Milz filed a nuisance complaint in May 1998, stating it was a hazard to area children and was causing the lowering of area property values. Commissioners said the reasons given were invalid and vetoed the request.

The advisory council agreed to send a letter to the county clerk noting the condition of the fence and possible licensing and code violations, and that “all code, license and/or verbal agreements that are now in place be enforced. Please ask the responsible county authorities to address this matter to determine where we stand and to cause some action to be taken if called for.”

County Manager Stephen Snyder said he was not aware of any contact with McLennan on the issue since the May 1998 meeting. He said when the county clerk receives the letter from the advisory council, it will be placed on the commissioner’s agenda.