In the aftermath of a fire that ravaged Murray’s Auto Salvage, owner Ed Dudek has expressed interest through his attorney in selling the 55 Hall Road property to the Conservation Commission.
In a letter to the Commission, Attorney Patricia Panciocco wrote that Conservation Commissioner Mike Speltz first approached Dudek about the Commission’s possibly acquiring the property because it directly abuts the Cohas marsh.
“At that time my client was in the middle of the relicensing process and was not focused on selling the property,” she wrote. “However, more recently and after a fire leveled the structure on the property within which my client dismantled vehicles, he is reconsidering this option.”
Before Dudek plans to rebuild and resume his operation, he would like to explore the Commission’s offer to purchase his property, according to the letter, which notes that in light of the Town’s recent enforcement action against Dudek, they would need to act promptly.
Dudek chose not to comment on his request to sell the property.
Commission member Marge Badois said she was informed by the Town Manager that the Commission should wait until all litigation between Dudek and the Town is resolved before it begins any consideration of the property.
Having failed to comply with multiple conditions in his 2014 license agreement, the Town of Londonderry filed a petition for declaratory judgment, injunctive relief and enforcement of statutory penalties against Ed Dudek and Murray’s Auto Recycling in Rockingham Superior Court on Jan. 28.
The following day, the salvage yard burned down in a two-alarm fire, which re-ignited hours after firefighters extinguished the initial blaze.
Since he began operating the salvage yard in 1998, Dudek has been the subject of dozens of citizens’ complaints, many of which have resulted in official Notices of Violations and action by Code Enforcement Officer Richard Canuel, according to the petition.
Additionally, multiple lawsuits have been filed against Dudek, including a federal lawsuit the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) filed in April 2014 alleging violations of the Clean Water Act.
Murray’s Auto Recycling reached a negotiated agreement with the CLF requiring Dudek Auto to develop and regularly update a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) as well as hire a qualified engineering consultant to develop the SWPPP, install and implement control measures, contribute $23,000 to the New Hampshire Rivers Council for environment restoration of the Merrimack Watershed, and pay CLF’s legal fees and costs.
Badois said she’s not sure whether or not the Commission would be interested in assuming liability for a property with such environmental issues, but added that it’s too early to begin discussing the proposal.
“It’s too preliminary for the town to even entertain the proposal,” Town Manager Kevin Smith confirmed.