The town of Watertowns code enforcement officer no longer will wait for a couple to clean up their Route 11 property.
In a June 27 letter, Code Enforcement Officer Jon L. Grant notified owners Kenneth G. Drew Sr., 83, and his wife, Sheila A. Drew, 66, that he will send out a private contractor at 8 a.m. Monday to clean up the remaining debris that sits on their property at 17201 Route 11.
In a follow-up memo July 2, Mr. Grant wrote that the contractor, Matthew F. Bondellio, has been told to remove a broken swimming pool, axles, tires, an air compressor, a trailer, a cement mixer and a backhoe from the property on that day.
Last August, the town ended its state Supreme Court lawsuit over alleged code violations after the couple agreed to clean up the property.
But Sheila Drew and her stepson, Kenneth G. Drew Jr., contend the town has been harassing the couple for years, claiming theyve already removed much of the construction debris, vehicles and trash.
Kenneth Drew also said his father, a military veteran, has been ill after suffering a stroke last year that nearly killed him.
Its getting done and been getting done, he said, adding that he is in the process of fixing the swimming pool and removing the other items.
Mr. Drew, who came from Alabama to help his father, said the couple also is in the process of making repairs to their house. He said he has arranged for the propertys well to be repaired by Friday, after about nine months without water.
Mr. Grant did not return several phone calls from a reporter.
Last year, the couple agreed to settle the dispute by bringing their property into compliance with all town codes, according to a stipulation of settlement and order filed at the Jefferson County clerks office.
The town filed action in April 2011 in an attempt to get the Drews to remove junk, including unregistered vehicles and car parts and a mobile home, from their grounds. The mobile home was not being used as a residence, as is required under town code.
The town had tried, both in and out of court, to get the Drews to clean up the property, where they have lived for more than 40 years and have operated a home improvement company, Drewco.
In 2007, they were fined $500 each for violating town codes for junk cars and trash, but the town agreed they wouldnt have to pay it if they made progress on removing the vehicles and construction material. In August 2010, however, the Drews were cited with more than 39 violations after code enforcement officers allegedly saw trash, junk vehicles and construction debris still on the property.