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Wreckers In Residential Neighborhood (ME)


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Waterville residents complain about wreckers in residential neighborhood


Jessica Laliberte and her mother have complained to the city about noise on High Street from wreckers driven by tenants of an apartment building on the street who are on-call employees of a Winslow wrecker service.


WATERVILLE — A resident of High Street has lodged complaints with the city about what she deems is a wrecker business located in a residential neighborhood against city codes, a claim the city refutes, saying no codes have been violated.


Jessica Laliberte says flatbed wreckers from Carroll’s Body Shop & Wrecker Service in Winslow park at an apartment building diagonally across the street from her home. The flatbed wreckers, driven by the apartment tenants, wake her and her elderly mother up at night when they come down the hill and brake, rev their engines, honk their horns and make beeping sounds when they back up. Laliberte, who works from home, says when she is on a conference call during the day, people on the call hear the wrecker noise. The flatbeds also load and unload vehicles, she said.


Laliberte says she wants the city to address the problems.


“Enforce the laws,” she said. “This is a residential neighborhood, and we’re listening to a wrecker business, really — that’s what it is.”


But the city’s code enforcement officer, Dan Bradstreet, and Carroll’s owner Mike Ouellette, say the men who drive the wreckers and live in the apartment building are on-call and respond to calls for service from there.


Ouellette said Tuesday that Laliberte initially complained about wreckers being parked on the street, blocking traffic. Laliberte approached the Planning Board, of which she is a former member, about the issue, which led to the City Council’s enacting rules in August prohibiting trucks weighing a certain number of pounds from parking on the street after 9 p.m.


The wrecker drivers now park the wreckers in the apartment building’s driveway.


Ouellette said that early on he received calls from police Chief Joseph Massey, Mayor Nick Isgro and city councilors  about the matter and made a number of changes in response to Laliberte’s complaints, including reducing the time two wreckers are at the apartment building at the same time. He rejected Laliberte’s complaint that they make a lot of noise.


“The two guys work for me, and maybe once or twice a month they might both be on call at the same time,” Ouellette said Tuesday. “The last three nights, we haven’t had one wrecker call after five o’clock. If they get five calls a week at night time, that’s a lot. She just doesn’t want trucks across the road from her.”


Ouellette said he feels as if he is being harassed by Laliberte, and if it continues, he may consider taking legal action.

“I talked to a lawyer,” he said. “If she just keeps pushing, I’m going to be looking into it.”


Laliberte said she and her mother have complained to city officials and Ouellette, but the issues continue. She called the police department in May because the wreckers were revving their engines, she said, and an officer called back more than an hour later and urged her to call when such noise is occurring.


The night before Thanksgiving, she called police again to report two wreckers — one was not from Carroll’s — were parked in the middle of High Street around 11 p.m. in violation of state law. The drivers were talking to each other and their trucks were blocking both the road and her driveway, she said, adding that a police officer called her back, but by that time, the wreckers had moved.


She said the issues have been going on about two years and she feels that she and her mother, who is 76 and has been paying taxes for many years, should not have to suffer the noise. Both their bedrooms are on the street side of the house, and the trucks wake them up every night, she said.


“I hear it, day in and day out, around the clock,” she said.



Bradstreet responded Wednesday in an email that he had not heard anything about the matter since September, when Laliberte sent him a complaint about the wreckers through City Councilor Rick Foss, R-Ward 5. Laliberte said she had reached out to Foss for help. He did not respond to a request from the Sentinel for comment. City Manager Michael Roy referred questions to Bradstreet.


Bradstreet included in his email to the Morning Sentinel a series of emails, one of which, dated Sept. 4, is from Foss to Roy. It includes a video from Laliberte showing a wrecker unloading a car on the street Sept. 3. He also attached an email from Laliberte saying it was the third time they had hauled a car there, unloaded it and worked on it.



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