Board seeks to curb dumping

An old tire and mattresses are piled in the woods at the end of Haviland Drive in Beacon Falls. The town wants to block the road to stop the illegal dumping. –LUKE MARSHALL
An old tire and other trash are piled in the woods at the end of Haviland Drive in Beacon Falls. The town wants to block the road to stop the illegal dumping. –LUKE MARSHALL

BEACON FALLS — Officials want to close a road in the Pines Bridge Industrial Park in response to illegal dumping.

During the July 14 Board of Selectmen meeting, First Selectman Christopher Bielik said he has received numerous calls and emails about people dumping junk along Haviland Drive.

“There are people in town that are using it basically as a dumping ground. There are sofas, old automobile tires. If you can think of a large thing that somebody doesn’t want to pay the transfer station fee on and just loads it into their pickup, drives it into the weeds, and just throws it in the back there, I can tell you it’s probably back there. It’s becoming an issue,” Bielik said.

Haviland Drive is a cul-de-sac off of Lancaster Drive in the Pines Bridge Industrial Park. There are lots for sale along the road, but currently they are all vacant.

“It’s sort of a road to nowhere now because there are no businesses on that road. There are lots there but, for the time being, those are vacant lots,” Bielik said.

According to the assessor’s officer there are four lots along Haviland Drive. Pines Bridge Industrial LLC owns three lots, and the Bridgeport-based Mark IV Construction owns one lot.

In addition to preventing people from dumping garbage, closing the road would also free up time for public works employees while plowing the roads in the winter, officials said.

Bielik said employees questioned during the winter why the town was plowing the road if the only people using it were just dumping items in the woods.

Bielik said state Department of Transportation statutes allow the town to close a road — even one that’s a published road in town — until officials deem it needs to be reopened.

If the town decides to close the road it would be able to do so quickly. The plan is to place a line of Jersey barriers across the road and the adjacent lots to completely block the entrance of the road.

“Public works has a number of Jersey barriers they would be more than happy to set across there,” Bielik said.

Selectman Peter Betkoski questioned whether closing the road would be a fire hazard.

Beacon Hose Company No. 1 Chief Jim Trzaski said putting up the barriers might actually help the department prevent fires.

“It’s a double-edged sword because maybe by putting those across there you’d lessen the fire load, if everybody is dropping their stuff off there. There’d be less activity,” Trzaski said.

Bielik said the town will have to discuss closing the road with the property owners before any action is taken.

“From a legal standpoint we can do it, but the next step is to check with the property owners,” Bielik said.

The board plans to pick this issue up during its next monthly meeting after officials have spoken with the property owners.