County shuts down motorcycle parts manufacturer, Reckless Motorcycles, for code violations
By Iva Butler and Matthew Stewart | (email@example.com) , matts@thedailytimes
A stop work order was issued Tuesday for Reckless Motorcycles’ manufacturing operation, which has been occupying the old MasterCraft Boat Company building on Morganton Road.
Officials issued the order due to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and fire code violations, said Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell. The infractions were inadequate ventilation, no running water and improper storage of chemicals inside the building.
Reckless Motorcycles sells fairings for Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha motorcycles, according to its website. The company also sells stretched saddlebags for Harley-Davidson models, touring trunks and a variety of accessories.
No permit for second site
The company was operating in two Blount County locations: 1718 Kings Circle, which is off Royal Drive and Foothills Mall Drive in Blount County, and the Morganton Road location in the Binfield community. The second location had been operational for seven to eight months.
Reckless Motorcycles never obtained a permit for the Morganton Road operation, Mitchell said. The company further failed to notify county officials that it was moving into the building.
The situation is extremely rare, he said. “It’s very unusual for someone to do something like this and not come through the proper channels.”
County officials were informed Tuesday about the company’s occupancy by a disgruntled employee, Mitchell said. He advised that the county doesn’t have enough employees to check every local business and ensure that it has proper paperwork.
County officials will remedy the situation, now that it’s been brought to their attention, he said. “They’re going to fix it. They can’t work until it’s been corrected.”
The Morganton Road operation, which has eight employees, manufactured accessories for Harley-Davidson, said Johan Fourie, location operation manager. Employees produced fiberglass fairings, which protect motorcyclists from wind and rain.
The old MasterCraft building “is very, very run down,” Fourie said. The manager advised that inspectors told them “the ventilation and fans were not good enough ... not safe enough.”
Alex Sassenberg is the company’s owner, he said.
The former employee also reported that chemicals were being poured out and leaking into the ground, Mitchell said. Two county employees toured the property Wednesday afternoon, and they didn’t discover any evidence of such activity.
“No chemicals were found leaking in or outside the building, except for empty containers within the Dumpster,” he said.
Officials also didn’t discover just cause for further action, such as chemical odors, evidence of chemical dumping on site or leaking barrels.
“From this point on they will have to get a permit, submit drawings on how they will bring everything up to codes and then have the building inspected,” Mitchell said. “If they bring it into compliance then a certificate of occupancy will be issued.”
The county codes department won’t issue any fines, because Reckless Motorcycles complied with the stop work order, Mitchell said.
The company is shutting down its second location, Fourie said.