LEWISTON — Pete Richard and his neighbors feel as though they're facing a constant uphill battle. The College Street man said he and a couple others try to keep up with removing trash piling up in the yard of an abandoned apartment building next door.
"But every time you come out here, there's something new," Richard said Monday evening while looking over the latest trash heap at 10 College St. "It's getting discouraging, you know. It's like a dump site. It's like, where the heck did the mattress come from?"
Richard and others try to keep the yard in front of the structure clear as they wait for the city to tear it down. But he said their attempts are becoming a daily battle.
The six-unit apartment building has been vacant since 2008. According to city records, Deutsche Bank AG New York foreclosed and took over the property from Erwin May in April 2010 but has since done little with it.
Code Enforcement Officer Tom Maynard said the building was left vacant and unsecured for years, luring copper thieves and squatters. Neighbors began using the property as a dump. But the city had no luck contacting the bank.
Eventually, the city had to hire a New York firm to serve notice of the condemnation and demolition hearing at the company's headquarters on Wall Street in New York City.
Now, neighbors such as Richard and Frances Gagnon regularly clean up the yard, but went outside Monday to find a mattress, box spring, television, assorted trash and a dead pigeon piled in front of the home. Richard said he and others are frustrated by the constant heap in the front yard and hope the city will be tearing the structure down soon.
His only fear is the mess from the demolition may be an even bigger eyesore.
"It's getting kind of useless," Richard said. "You come out and clean it and within a day or a couple days people trash it up all over again."