POTSDAM - When state police crews begin digging on the property at 733 May Road looking for the bodies of an elderly couple, they could also find tons of buried garbage and other debris.
Stockholm Code Enforcement Officer Robert C. Griffith said he has made numerous visits to the May Road property over the past two or three years to deal with garbage complaints. Ive been at that property many, many times, he said.
Mr. Griffith noted he was last at the trailer approximately six weeks ago at the request of the West Stockholm fire chief. They had a stove pipe fire there, and the fire chief wanting me to go and look at it, and he had some concerns with the electric in there, Mr. Griffith said.
He said he returned to the trailer two more times to make sure Robert Bartlett had replaced the faulty pipe and was installing the new pipe correctly. Mr. Griffith said it was his first time inside the trailer, which had been purchased in recent years by Mr. Bartlett. It was probably two or three years ago.
Mr. Griffith said much of the interior of the trailer had been gutted and noted he had seen two women in bedrooms at the residence on the date of his last inspection at the site. He indicated the inspection had been memorable.
But the Stockholm code enforcement officer said most of his visits over the past two to three years have focused on efforts to get Mr. Bartlett to clean up the garbage and debris on the property. Mr. Griffith said the front yard at 733 May Road borders the backyard of a well kept neighboring property.
Ive been to Mr. Bartletts property many, many, many times to talk to him about the garbage. There was an old trailer that had burnt three of four years ago. There was lumber. There was garbage all over. There was a trailer that had been loaded to the hilt with garbage. He appeared to have been making some progress getting it cleaned up. It was slow, but I thought he was doing the best he could, Mr. Griffith said.
He had an old tractor with a bucket on it and had been burying most of that garbage and debris on site, he said, noting a forest ranger had found Mr. Bartlett burning some of the garbage on one occasion.