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Wales board to examine Auctions International site

A Wales business that has become a point of contention for some residents was brought to the forefront at Tuesday’s meeting of the Wales Town Board.

Walter Raichel, the town’s code enforcement officer and building inspector, said the owner of Auctions International wants to make changes to the building plans he’s submitted for his property on Route 20A.

Property owner Russell Scherrer wants to eliminate a second floor from a planned 50-by-100 foot building and add a pole barn, also 50-by-100 feet.

Raichel noted the requested change would not alter the square footage for storage, but it would cover more surface area.

The property, about one mile east of Route 400, has been the subject of several complaints about its appearance.

Raichel said the location for the new building hasn’t been determined because of the location of septic and leach systems that serve the property.

Councilmember Michael Simon said he was fine with the proposed change provided there’s no change to the square footage.

“That’s what our big battle was about last time; the square footage,” Simon said. “My initial reaction is it seems OK.”

However, Supervisor Rickey Venditti balked at the request, noting several residents aren’t happy with a perceived lack of property maintenance.

“We’re still getting a lot of calls from people who are not happy with how it looks up there,” Venditti said. “There are people who don’t even live in this town who drive by and remark about the status of that property.”

Among recent complaints is a set of construction trailers on the site.

Earlier this year residents complained about the property’s appearance, but Raichel said at a September board meeting that several improvements had been made at the site, most notably a reduction in debris.

“He’s had twice as much gone as he had in the summer,” Raichel said.

“It looks like he’s got twice as much there than he did,” replied Councilmember Gerald Klinck.

Councilmember Donald Butcher suggested a visual inspection before making a decision, and Venditti said he will schedule a time for the board to visit the site with Scherrer.

The board’s next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 13 when the board conducts its annual organizational meeting, followed by the regular monthly meeting.