Lewis County officials battle with homeowner over piles of junk


Junk litters a Centralia man's yard

CENTRALIA, Wash. - A Centralia-area man's yard is littered with cardboard stacked 20-feet-high, cars, cans and mountains of metal.

Lewis County officials claim the yard is a breeding ground for disease. They are demanding property owner Vic Bonagofski clean it up, but he refuses.

Bonagofski told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Richard Thompson that he is "very angry" that the county has tried to force him to remove the junk from his yard.

"It's a breeding ground for rats and mice and all kinds of stuff," Lewis County commissioner Lee Grose said. "It's a real health issue."

Bonagofski disagreed. "They are saying it's a health and safety issue. There is no health issue here. There is no safety issue here, if people stay off my land."

Bonagofski said he has cleaned out eight tons of material himself but at least one neighbor disputes his claims.

"It just keeps growing, the pile just keeps growing," said Dan Lael. "I worry about rodents."

The county has got court orders and cleaned up clean up Bonagofski's property twice in the past. He has never paid the bill.

Now, the county is considering cleaning it up again, at a possible cost of $100,000, and then possibly foreclosing on the property. County commissioners said that the cleanup could begin with six months.

Bonagofski, however, is defiant. "They have no authority to come on private property and tell people what they can do with their land," he said.


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