Neighbors say abandoned house is nuisance


MINOT — People living near the Soucy property at 184 Old Woodman Hill Road have asked selectmen to do something about the property, which they characterized as virtually abandoned and a neighborhood nuisance.

“It’s been three years since anyone’s lived there,” neighbor Burt Roy said. “Ceilings are caving in; there’s not a straight wall in the place.”

Noting that with skirting torn away in places, animals — most notably skunks and porcupines — have taken up residence. Another neighbor, Ron Baril, reported that he had trapped four skunks and a raccoon.

Code Enforcement Officer Ken Pratt said the place had been boarded up about two years ago but that it had gone downhill since, had creatures living in it and should be boarded up again.

“Actually, it would be cheaper to tear it down than board it up,” Pratt said.

The group of neighbors wanted it gone, now.

Selectman Eda Tripp agreed that the board should take action.

“We’ve fooled around on this for three years,” Tripp said. “We should proceed with this as fast as we can go.”

Selectmen directed Pratt to send Soucy a registered letter requesting immediate action, either to board it up or to tear it down, her choice. The letter also was to detail the town’s course if the request is ignored.

In other business:

• Town Administrator Arlan Saunders reported that the mild winter had saved the town about $30,000. He estimated that 1,800 cubic yards of sand remain in the winter sand pile and that road salt use was 200 tons less than last year.

Saunders said the road crew was being paid under the summer road account.

• Road Foreman Scott Parker reported the dirt roads were drying out nicely.

“We have had to haul some gravel on some of the dirt roads this week but not as bad as it has been in the past,” Parker said.

• Selectmen authorized a refund of the excise tax in the amount of $276.35 paid by George Romano because he is in the service on active duty.

• The board signed a three-year contract with Time Warner Cable and agreed to consider Bill Stuard’s request that in the future the annual town meeting, traditionally held the first Saturday in March, begin at 10 a.m. due to the shortened warrant now that school issues are no longer included.