The towns cleanup of a couples Route 11 property will go ahead as scheduled Monday despite the familys request for an extension to get the job finished.
On Thursday night, the Watertown Town Council instructed code enforcement officer Jon L. Grant to proceed with the cleanup of the property at 17201 Route 11, owned by Kenneth G. Drew Sr., 83, and his wife, Sheila A. Drew, 66.
Before the vote, Mr. Drews son, Kenneth G. Drew Jr., asked the town to extend the deadline until the end of September. The son, who came from Alabama to help his father, told board members that much of the work was finished during the past few days.
An unidentified contractor was going to return this week to remove the remaining construction debris, Mr. Drew said. A backhoe, several trailer frames and other debris were already gone, he said, noting the family wants to repair a broken pool in the back yard.
But Town Supervisor Joel R. Bartlett told the son the town was standing by a court order for the property to be cleaned up on Monday.
Im sorry, Mr. Drew, and Im sorry, Mrs. Drew, but it has to be brought up to code, Mr. Bartlett said, adding the town has been dealing with problems at the property for 20 years.
I just want everything to be gone, Mr. Drew agreed.
To save the pool, the couple will be required to prove they hired a contractor to repair it. If not, it will be torn down, Mr. Bartlett said.
Earlier this week, the family claimed the town has been harassing the couple for years. They maintain 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.
In a June 27 letter, Mr. Grant notified the couple that a private contractor will be at the property at 8 a.m. Monday to clean it up.
Last August, the town ended its state Supreme Court lawsuit over alleged code violations after the couple agreed to clean up the property, where the couple has lived for more than 40 years and has operated a home improvement company, Drewco.
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.
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.