Local salvage yard, the subject of controversy - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Local salvage yard, the subject of controversy

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OAK HILL (WVVA) – A salvage yard is the subject of controversy in one local city.  Basham's Salvage Yard was found guilty on one count of garbage storage last week in Municipal Court, but innocent of fifteen other charges related to storing junk vehicles and motor parts. 

Tom Fast, attorney for the salvage yard, says Basham has the necessary license. "The city code specifies that a licensed owner of the Department of Highways is a licensed salvage yard.  In this case Mr. Basham has had a salvage yard license through the department since the 1960s, uninterrupted," says Fast.

Oak Hill City Manager, Bill Hannabass, says that Basham hasn't had a city business license since 2007 though, and now the city is cracking down.

"He is in violation of many other violations such as the fence, not having a proper fence, such as obstructing a right of way, and being too close to a residence; all of these things he's still in violation of," says Hannabass. "Too many car tires," he continues.

The defense argues that since the salvage yard has existed since the 1960s, they pre-date these city requirements.  Even so, the city still has another problem.

"I see it as a huge eye sore to the city of Oak Hill," says Hannabass.  "All of the salvage, you can see it from the main street.  It's too close to residents."

If not a salvage yard though, where does this stuff go?

"Salvage yards are valuable because it gives society a place to take scrap metals, old cars, car parts, things of that nature," says Fast.

Basham has paid his fine for garbage storage, but no word yet if he will appeal, or when the city will file additional charges. 

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