Cash available for Sanders Co. junk car removal

·3 min read

Oct. 20—Junked vehicles. Maybe not a monstrosity, but more than a blemish.

A den for feral cats, packrats, skunks and other ill wanted animals we'd rather not have to deal with near our homes.

Tangled in weeds and many are mowed around as they are in the way of whatever the property owner has planned for them, eventually, but not today. Or this year.

Even the next several years as we watch them sit and rust knowing that by now the fluids have probably drained out or evaporated. But they are still there as an eyesore, and in most cases, they are in clusters.

Even herds. Like noxious weeds, they aren't wanted or welcome, but they are here. In some exclusive residential areas in Scotland, junked vehicles are considered taxable property.

A motor vehicle that has been abandoned can become a £200 tax (fine) as motivation to spruce-up personal property.

Yes, our property is ours to do what we want with, in most cases, so a pasture full of decaying cars is nobody's business.

However, if you've wanted them removed but feel the cost isn't worth it, the following information might be a welcome surprise to you, and your neighbors.

The Sanders County Environmental Health Office will tow them away FREE of charge! As many as you want as long as you release ownership or interest in the motor vehicle(s).

"Any vehicle that is a 3/4 ton or less can be accepted. We do not accept campers, camp trailers, boats, RVs, four wheelers, etc.", explains Tina Scott, Administrative Assistant to Shawn Sorenson, Sanitarian for Sanders County. "Once a person fills out the release form(s), the contracted tow company has 2 weeks to pick up the vehicle and MT DEQ sets up the contract to crush the cars", she continues.

Scott has been in her position for 6 years and when she started, there were 13 vehicles in one of the 2 yards Sanders County owns and last week over 340 were being 'recycled'.

Why does the county do this? What do they want to accomplish? "It's primary purpose is to control junk vehicles and prevent them from being scattered throughout the countryside as well as protect the environment of fluids being leaked (oil, antifreeze, gas, etc.), thereby helping to help preserve the beauty of our state", she explains. "This program is paid for from the small fee you are assessed when you license your vehicle. The benefits of this program are available to all Montanans; we offer it to all county/city residents".

20% of the junk vehicle funding can be used to transport abandoned mobile homes, too. Because these are larger and more complex, the 20% burns up quickly each year, but this is a clause in the Application and Release of Claim form: 'We acknowledge that Sanders County has agreed to offer a $500 incentive in efforts to help mitigate community decay on the property, and that is it our responsibility to maintain our property in a manner free of community decay conditions'.

Sanders County is home. And home is where we take care of ourselves, family and community. Beautification or our home is in everyone's interest, so the Environmental Health Office is doing their part by asking residents to pitch-in and download release forms at

There is even a form to remain anonymous to report junked vehicles.

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