LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) --Metro officials have fined a local tree service company for illegally dumping on a deserted scrapyard in the Parkland neighborhood.
The long-neglected scrap yard, located northwest of Brandeis Elementary School near 28th Street and Garland Avenue, has been the site of several serious fires and become overrun with illegal dumping.
Metro Public Works used hidden surveillance cameras to capture the illegal activity. Officials cited a local company $3,500 for illegal dumping and impounded two company vehicles; a third vehicle the city was seeking could not be located.
“Oftentimes, there's not a way to track [waste] back to a specific dumper and that's what makes the cameras so important is when we capture them in the act,” explained Harold Adams, a spokesperson for Public Works and Codes and Regulations.
The city declined to identify the company caught on surveillance but WHAS11 has learned it was the Louisville-based Percell Tree And Crane Service that received the fine.
Adams said surveillance cameras caught the company illegally dumping on the property multiple times. The business will also be assessed a fine for clean-up costs.
The owner of the tree service told WHAS11 on Tuesday that he planned to file an appeal. He declined to comment further without legal consultation.
City officials are now turning their sights to the broader issue of how to clean-up the property, a task expected to cost taxpayers thousands. The Department of Codes and Regulations has two open cases on the property owner, both of which have been at a standstill since late 2016.
“It's going to be one big cleanup and that's still a mess still to be worked out,” Adams said.
Property records identify the owner as Jesse Ballew, a well-known Southern Indiana entrepreneur who runs Jesse Ballew Enterprises in Clarksville. The scrap yard is operated under Parkland Inc., an administratively dissolved Indiana-based company.
Inspectors have cited the property for a myriad of violations in recent years, ranging from damaged fencing to improper use of the EZ-1 zoned land as a junk yard. A spokesperson for the Department of Codes and Regulations said the city has not been able to reach Ballew by phone or mail. He said mailed notices and summons have been returned to the department, leaving the city in a standstill until they can find a way to communicate with him.
According to records, Ballew owes the city $6,790 in unpaid fines for the violations. He has not returned a call from WHAS11 requesting comment.