Peabody salvage operator give extension

Staff reporter

It appeared that Marion County Commission is giving Danniel King of rural Peabody another chance to obtain a county variance for his salvage operation.

At the March 17 Marion County Commission meeting, it became evident that there was a discrepancy regarding the county encroaching on King's property at 1202 120th, Peabody.

County zoning administrator Bobbi Strait said that after she saw the survey, she realized the problem.

"I could see what Danniel was talking about regarding the encroachment of county boundaries regarding his culverts," she said.

As water drains across the road, an inadequate ditch cannot retain the water, causing it to flow through King's property.

Strait continued that it was an erosion problem and not because of the county's neglect.

"You're missing the point here," King said. "The water runs over the top of the road because of poor maintenance. It didn't start eroding until the road got to a tipping point and caused the problem."

The survey indicated that the road is encroaching 7.2 feet on King's property.

The county required King to obtain a survey of his property when he contended that the county road had been moved during years of maintenance. The issue came to light when King was required to obtain a state salvage license. As a part of the licensing process, the county has to approve the application process by confirming that the applicant has met county requirements.

County requirements include some type of screening — either trees or a fence — so the salvage operation is not visible from the road. When King was told to erect a fence, he contended that the county had encroached on his property. With the county not being sure of the accurate property line, a survey was required, at King's expense.

"It's an extra $2,000 that it has cost me to prove that I'm not a liar," King said, referring to comments made by the commission at a previous meeting.

Through the course of the meeting, it was determined that King had access to 400 trees at Lehigh and the materials for the fence have been purchased. King said he was going to use both a fence for shielding his business and trees to decrease erosion issues.

However, pinpointing a time frame proved to be difficult. When the commission asked King for a schedule, he did not produce one.

"Until we get a prolonged period of dry weather, I'm not going to make any statements that I can't back up," King said. "We'll start on it when the weather breaks."

Commission chairman Bob Hein asked if he could have it completed by mid-May. King responded that he still had "tons and tons of stuff to move."

With that, Hein responded, "Let's get it rolling."