SALEM — The town’s legal battle over piles of printer boxes and other junk littering a local property could end if the property is sold to a new owner, according to court documents.
A hearing in the case was set for Monday in Rockingham County Superior Court, but it was rescheduled for April 22 at the request of the town’s lawyers.
According to their motion filed Wednesday, owner Michael Bates is negotiating the sale of the property at 45 Maclarnon Road to a potential buyer who is aware of its condition.
“This sale may negate the need for further judicial intervention if the property is brought into compliance,” the town said in its motion.
The town took Bates to court in November in an attempt to force him to clean up the property, which Salem officials say has become a public nuisance and fire hazard.
The trash pile includes mostly boxes of Epson inkjet printers, along with cardboard and styrofoam packing material.
Health officer Brian Lockard has estimated that there are as many as 2,000 boxes with printers still inside.
The property is in violation of town zoning laws because of the amount of debris and trash, said officials, who warned Bates to clean up the property before they filed a complaint seeking an injunction against him.
Judge Marguerite Wageling granted the injunction in January, but the trash was not removed.
Lockard has been working with contractors to get estimates on the cost to remove the mess, which would likely be in the thousands.