Sunday, September 26, 2021

114 West Elm Street
Graham, NC 27253
Ph: 336.228.7851

Junk collectors backslide; judge issues new order to clean up property and keep it cleaned up

An illegal junkyard outside of Burlington municipal limits appears to have slowly reconstituted itself in the months since county officials leaned on the property owners to clear out their accumulated debris.

According to Alamance County’s attorney Clyde Albright, the owners of this unlicensed hoard at 1940 Barbee Street had actually made visible progress on the property’s cleanup as recently as May 14.

“You could see the dirt,” Albright declared in an interview earlier this week.

BEFORE:

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Since then, however, the site has begun to fill up again with all manner of junk and debris. On Wednesday morning, for instance, the hoard contained used tires and busted appliances, a couple of jalopies, some orphaned electrical chords, and a bric-a-brac of construction debris.

Everything including the proverbial kitchen sink could be found amid the sundry collection.

In response to this apparent backsliding, the county asked a superior court judge to issue an order that would permanently forbid the family of Grace Barbee, who owns the property, from continuing to accumulate junk. The county also asked the judge to order the property owners to redress a failed septic system and a consequent infestation of rats that had come to the attention of the local health department.

DURING THE CLEANUP:

Last Thursday, Judge Andy Hanford signed a permanent injunction that orders the family of Grace Barbee to comply with the county’s directives. Hanford’s order directs the defendants to “remove all the unlawful collection of trash, junk, and junked motor vehicles.” It also enjoins them from resuming their “unlawful use of the property in the future.”

The judge has further required the defendants to engage the services of a licensed pest control company and to remove a mobile home that has found its way to their property. He has also ordered them to repair the aforementioned septic system or, as an alternative, obtain permission to hook onto the sewer lines of neighboring Glen Raven Mills.

Hanford goes on to give the defendants a deadline of July 10 to address the problems with their septic system. Should they fail to resolve the issue by then, the judge has authorized the county’s health director to have Duke Energy cut off the power to the property.

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