Peter Segall | Juneau Empire
                                Cars are piled up Tuesday at an illegal junkyard on River Road in the Mendenhall Valley.

Peter Segall | Juneau Empire Cars are piled up Tuesday at an illegal junkyard on River Road in the Mendenhall Valley.

Assembly scraps illegal junkyard

Over 200 cars are on lot in the Mendenhall Valley

For at least four years, city officials have been trying to shut down an illegal junkyard in the Mendenhall Valley.

Monday night, the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly took a more proactive approach to the cleanup.

City officials said Dale Losselyong has roughly 260 derelict vehicles on his 3.5 acre property onRiver Road where he has been running an illegal junkyard and car repair and sales business since at least 2016.

Because Losselyong has failed to sufficiently comply with court orders to clean up his property, the Assembly voted to spend $250,000 to hire a private contractor for the job.

Losselyong’s property is not zoned for commercial activity, he has impeded public safety and health by clocking river road and has violated CBJ noise ordinances by conducting business outside permitted hours, according to a memo written by Community Development Department Director Jill Maclean.

Losselyong previously owned Capital Towing and towed vehicles to the property, the memo said. When officials from the CDD first visited the property in 2016, the number of cars was over 420.

Losselyong was not at the city meeting and could not immediately be reached for comment.

After he failed to comply with CDD orders to clean the property, CBJ obtained court orders against Losselyoung in April of last year to clean the property. But as of Monday night’s meeting, he has failed to fully comply with court orders to remove the vehicles, according Maclean.

Assembly members decided to take action now before the situation gets worse.

Speaking to the Assembly, Maclean said though some vehicles had been removed from the property, it was not clear where Losselyong had taken them and whether they had been moved to a permitted location.

Citing the fact Losselyong had so far failed to follow orders from the court, including the monthly transfer of $10,000 to an escrow account to pay for the cleanup, Assembly member Maria Gladziszewski raised the concern the city would not get its money back.

The monthly payments would come from the sale of Losselyong’s business, the memo said.

While other Assembly members shared that concern, the other members agreed that hiring a professional contractor to manage the cleanup was a preferable alternative to letting Losselyong continue non-compliance with court orders.

The Assembly voted 7-1, with only Gladziszewski voting against, to appropriate city money to hire Island Contractors for the cleanup. Bids for the cleanup had been put out by the city in December, following a court order.

Maclean told the Assembly that so far only cars had been removed from the property, but not ATVs, boats and other vehicles currently housed at the junkyard. Contractors will be responsible for removing the vehicles from the borough.

Island Contractors submitted a bid of $330,000, but that amount was subject to negotiation, City Manager Rorie Watt told the Assembly.

The city still has legal means of obtaining funds from Losselyong, such as a court order lien on his property, Assistant City Attorney Teresa Bowen told the Assembly.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at 523-2228 or psegall@juneauempire.com.

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