County brings charges for solid waste violation

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 20, 2014

When citizens complained about the trash that began piling up at the home of Leonard Daniel Savercool Jr., the complaints were not ignored. In fact, after a few weeks the matter was on the desk of Ordinance Enforcement Officer Lloyd Pace, who is with the county Planning and Development Department.
After more than a month of noncompliance, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office served a warrant for Savercool. The warrant, for solid waste ordinance violation, was issued Feb. 12 and served two days later. Savercool did not respond after repeated attempts to reach him for comment.
Pace said he was first contacted Jan. 9 and conducted an initial investigation, taking pictures at the property, located at 350 Catfish Terrace, Salisbury, in the Fisherman Cove subdivision. He said there were bags of household trash strewn about the property. Pace sent a letter to Savercool and the owner of the rental property, First Choice Housing, based in Huntersville. The manager informed Pace the mobile home was rented to Savercool.
Someone at the property signed the letter, indicating they’d received it on Jan. 11.
Pace returned to the home Jan. 12 to see if it had been cleaned.
He said it had not.
The ordinance says no owner, occupant, tenant, or lessee of a building or dwelling, other than a licensed junk dealer, may leave solid waste outside longer than two weeks.
He said the trash could’ve been taken to the landfill or hauled away by any one of the local garbage services. The ordinance also says the garbage could be recycled or placed in a permitted incinerator.
“You work with them all you can,” Pace said.
He said he gave Savercool ample time to rectify the situation, but still a month after the initial complaint, no changes had been made. Feb. 12 was a month after the initial complaint letter.
Pace estimates his office has similar complaints and subsequent investigations about six times a year.
He said his department gets lots of complaints, much of which consists of just “stuff,” sometimes children’s toys and in another case, a refrigerator.
Pace said the outcome is up to the courts, but if found guilty of the misdemeanor offense, Savercool could face a $50 fine or not more than 30 days in jail, or both. Savercool was issued a written promise to appear in court March 25, a report said.
The courts could impose a civil penalty that if a person is found guilty he or she could receive up to a $500 fine.
To file a complaint contact 704-216-8588.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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