dumping

THE BEGINNING – Oscoda Resident Rick Koenig photographed a pile of bricks and shingles piled up near Golfview Court in 2018. 

OSCODA – Owner Boyd Standart Aldridge of Lakewood Shores Golf Course has received a notice of violation – from the Materials Management Division of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) – for illegal dumping. 

The notice of violation was completed on Tuesday, June 30, and was mailed to Aldridge notifying him that he has 30 days, or until July 31, to clean up the debris or come up with a specific plan to clean it up, located at Golfview Court. 

“We deal with regulating landfills and waste transfer stations among other things. We also deal with complaints for dumping and properties where they are private or at a park or on state land,” said EGLE employee Lori Babcock.

Oscoda resident Rick Koenig reached out to EGLE with the complaint on June 8, after a year and a half of trying to get the mess cleaned up locally by visiting the offices of Oscoda Township (OT) Superintendent Dave Schaffer, OT Supervisor Aaron Weed, OT Code Compliance Officer Marc Bridson and other township officials. 

Koenig noticed the dumping and began taking photographs and videos in late fall of 2018; however the first discussion about the illegal dumping took place in July 8, 2018, according to a letter from Bridson. The summary of the letters states that a phone conversation took place between Bridson and Aldridge on July 8, 2018. 

On Oct. 29, 2018, Bridson mailed Aldridge a letter summarizing all the conversations he had with Aldridge and others about the debris piles from July 8-Oct. 29, 2018. On Oct. 26, 2018, a civil infraction from OT for $100 was administered to Aldridge and stated, “failing to comply and clean up the dumping of building materials, etc.” The fine was to be made to OT by 5 p.m., on Nov. 19, 2018. 

According to OT zoning and code enforcement case notes from Bridson, after the citation was given, Bridson followed up to see if the debris was being taken care of. According to his notes, Bridson received a call from Rick York, an employee of Lakewood Shores, on Nov. 5, 2018 notifying him that the piles of bricks and shingles would be removed. 

In late fall of 2018, Koenig came across the pile at Golfview Court which showed piles of building debris including shingles and bricks, among other materials and took photographs and videos to bring to Bridson’s attention. According to Koenig, he brought the photographs to Bridson last spring and Bridson agreed to go out to the site with him. 

Following the meeting, Koenig  met with Bridson and Schaffer and attended a few OT meetings to address his concerns in early August and late fall of 2019. According to Koenig, he attended three OT meetings where all board members were present. A number of township officials inquired about the dumping and some even went out to the site with Koenig. 

After Koenig said he received minimal response, He met with Weed who announced he was in charge at a board meeting that Koenig attended in January of 2020. Koenig said even in April when he went to look at the pile it was still there despite those telling him it had been cleaned up and taken care of. 

Earlier this year, Aldridge was given a tentative deadline to clean-up the debris, but due to the coronavirus the deadline was extended to after the stay-at-home order was lifted. No further citations or fines have been given, at press time. 

After several attempts to have the pile cleaned up locally, Koenig decided he was going to reach out to EGLE with an illegal dumping complaint. On June 8, Koenig filed a complaint with EGLE and on June 10, Babcock traveled out to the site to observe the illegal dumping. 

As previously mentioned, Babcock returned to the office and drafted up a letter of violation on June 30 to be taken care of no later than July 31. 

“If you get a notice of violation and you don’t respond to it there is a second notice of violation that indicates there’s been no response,” said Babcock. “If there’s no response to that we typically refer it for enforcement and again generically speaking that can be a criminal referral which is dealt with in the county court based on the cited violations or depending on the type of case it can go to the attorney general’s office. Most things go to the local court route though.” 

Babcock said the expectation of Aldridge is to either clean up the property or come up with a plan to clean it up. As far as the plan goes, she said she looks for the time frame of the clean-up, if more time is needed, if there is equipment available, the disposal facility they plan to use and if they will provide receipts. 

“That’s how I handle pretty much anything like this,” said Babcock. 

Additional information on the situation will be reported in this publication as it becomes available.