Rindge junkyard proposal withdrawn 

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 10/2/2019 10:01:09 AM

A Rindge businessman has withdrawn his application for a junkyard on Route 202.

Tim Halliday, owner of Route 202 Truck & Equipment, applied for a junkyard permit to continue a business at 58 Route 202 in Rindge. Junkyard permits must be approved by the Select Board following a public hearing process.

On Sept. 18, the board opened a public hearing on the application, despite Halliday notifying the board a family emergency prevented him from attending and requesting the hearing be continued to a later date.

Selectmen did continue the hearing to Oct. 2, but Select Board Chairman Bob Hamilton said due to the statutes around the timing of public hearings, and the 40 or so members of the public who attended the meeting, many to speak specifically to the junkyard proposal, the board would move forward with taking comments from members of the public.

Selectwoman Roberta Oeser protested moving forward with public comment without Halliday present. She moved to continue the hearing immediately without taking public comment, but her motion was not seconded by Hamilton or fellow board member Karl Pruter.

On Monday, Halliday notified the town in a letter that he would be withdrawing his application rather than move forward with second part of the hearing, claiming Hamilton, in particular, showed biased against the proposal during the Sept. 18 meeting.

Though Halliday was not at the meeting, it was taped and made publicly available, and Halliday said in an interview Tuesday he had been informed by friends Hamilton was “blatantly obvious” in his partiality against the proposal.

“It was obvious from the Chair’s actions that a hearing on this matter would not be an impartial one,” Halliday wrote. “A sound business practice would be to maintain all of the previously permitted uses of the property. Since a Junk Yard was incidental to the primary use, the lack of this permit will not adversely affect the use of the property.”

When contacted Tuesday, Hamilton denied that claim.

“I don’t feel I’m partial,” he said. “And there are three votes on the board. I’m just one vote. Decisions are made by two or more.”

On Tuesday, Hamilton said he had not yet seen Halliday’s request to withdraw the permit request, but said the board will likely review it during this week’s Wednesday night Select Board meeting since that is when the public hearing is scheduled to continue.

Halliday has the right to re-submit the application at a future date, if he wishes, Hamilton said.

Halliday said a combination of Hamilton’s alleged partiality and protests lodged by neighbors and other residents during the Sept. 18 hearing has made him reconsider the proposal. He said he will continue the current businesses on the property, which he described as a “commercial, multi-tenant, multi-use” property, without the junkyard portion.

“I just don’t want to go forward at this time,” Halliday said. “I don’t really need it, and it seems kind of hot-button.”

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.

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