Earle Welch Jr., a former fire chief of Wayne, is being sued by the town a second time about scrap, debris and other material on his property. The town says he’s in violation of the state junkyard statute and wants him fined and the property cleaned up.

The lawsuit is similar to one the town filed in August 1997, when it charged that Welch’s property, with large quantities of trash, debris and discarded articles, created a public nuisance and was an illegal junkyard.

Welch no longer lives in Maine, according to documents filed in the lawsuit in Kennebec County Superior Court. They indicate Welch resides in an apartment in Winter Haven, Fla. A 2013 Maine Department of Agriculture listing of licensed arborists carries a phone number for Welch that is no longer in service.

However, the property at 66 North Wayne Road remains in his name, and the town has several liens against it for unpaid taxes.

A lien for 2012 taxes says $1,357.98 is owed, and a recently placed one says Welch owes an additional $1,315.67 for 2013 property taxes.

The property’s assessed value is $94,600.


Town Manager Aaron Chrostowsky said Tuesday that the town had tried to contact Welch and his family members before going to court to solve the problem of the property’s condition.

Chrostowsky also said it appears no one is living on the property.

The town says the property contains “junked furniture, appliances, plumbing, scrap lumber, scrap metal, rubbish, debris, tires, batteries and other household material which is stored outside the premises.”

The town’s other efforts to contact Welch consisted of a May 6 letter from the town’s code enforcement officer, which notified Welch that “the premises are in violation of the State of Maine junkyard statute and the defendant has been instructed by the town to remove the debris from the premises and defendant has refused and failed to do so,” according to the lawsuit.

Photographs of the property taken over the past few months show what appears to be a newer, single-width mobile home at the top of a heavily rutted dirt driveway. The building is surrounded by trash.

The driveway is blocked by traffic cones of varying colors and items apparently discarded on the lawn in front of a series of fabric-covered quonset huts.


The court complaint, filed by attorney Michael A. Hodgins, says state law requires a junkyard permit for anyone keeping such items and that Welch has neither sought nor received one. It also says the property’s condition is a public nuisance.

The complaint seeks a ruling from the court that Welch is maintaining an illegal junkyard, an order for abatement, and a fine of at least $100 per day for the violation.

If Welch fails to correct the problem within 30 days, the lawsuit asks for an order allowing the town to do the cleanup.

Welch twice appealed the outcome of the August 1997 lawsuit filed by the town. Both times, the town prevailed.

At the time, some residents spoke up in support of Welch, saying he had spent many years in the Fire Department and on town committees and that his public service should be taken into consideration to mitigate some of the penalties.

Welch has yet to respond to the lawsuit; however, he was served notice of it in Florida.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.