Junkyard Owner Ordered to Clean Up Property

OLD FORGE, Pa. -- The owner of a problem property in Lackawanna County avoided jail time by agreeing to clean up his junkyard in Old Forge in under 100 days.

The civil case between the borough of Old Forge and junkyard owner Walter Stocki, led the judge to do something he says he's never done before. Last week, he visited the junkyard in question to get a look for himself.

On Thursday, the judge gave Stocki a list of things he has to do to avoid jail time.

Walter Stoki didn't have anything to say to us as he left Lackawanna County court with orders from a judge. Stoki was told to stop doing business at Scrap Enterprises in Old Forge and spend the next 100 days cleaning up the property.

Last week, the judge along with Stocki, his attorney, and Old Forge borough officials, toured the junkyard. The judge was deciding whether to hold Stocki in contempt for failing to follow a court order to clean the property last year.

According to this latest court order, Stoki has the next three and a half months to remove all the heavy equipment that's been stripped for parts. The judge even said he would randomly drive by the property to make sure the work is being done.

Neighbors of Scrap Enterprises showed up for the contempt hearing.

"There were other neighbors here, not all of them, but I'm sure they'll be happy to hear it's moving in the right direction. We'll see what the judge, what it looks like in 100 days, and hopefully, it'll be the way we want it," said Chris Goetz.

Goetz says the junkyard made his backyard inhabitable. He's encouraged now that Stocki faces jail time if he fails to clean up the property.

"The judge was firm, very firm, so hopefully the message was received."

Old Forge says Scrap Enterprises is in violation of the borough's zoning ordinances. Walter Stocki also faces more than $250,000 in fines for that violation.

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