NEW GLOUCESTER — The Board of Selectmen on Monday unanimously approved sending letters to owners of two properties, saying they must correct longstanding code violations by Dec. 1 or face a $100-a-day fine.
Code Enforcement Officer Debra Parks Larrivee sought board action on the cases.
Paula and Barry Roberts of North Yarmouth own a vacant house at 14 Morse Road, the subject of code violations for a decade.
Scott and Dawn Hotham own a property at 896 Lewiston Road occupied by Ronald and Stephanie Parker with code violations dating back to 2009.
Both properties are in violation of the Zoning Ordinance and under state law the town can impose monetary penalties for noncompliance.
The board authorized Larrivee to send each owner a letter spelling out the corrective actions that must be completed by Dec. 1, or face a fine of $100 per day beginning Dec. 2.
In 2004, Larrivee said the Roberts’ property had an open foundation and extra vehicles that violated the town’s ordinance on junkyards.
In 2009, Larrivee wrote, “A citizen-initiated call to investigate the habitability of the home noted the home was so full of unused or discarded items, it hampers access to the exits. The windows and roof are in such a decayed condition that they will collapse soon. You need to find an alternative place to live. It is not safe health wise or structurally to live there.”
Larrivee said, “I, along with the fire chief, have been compiling a list of longtime violations here in New Gloucester. These violations have been duly noticed (most of them more than one time). They continue to be in violation, they are not only code violations, but safety violations.”
Seven letters since 2009 sent to the Hothams as property owners and the Parkers as occupants noted violations on unregistered vehicles, junked recreational vehicles, junk furniture, debris and garbage and the welfare of animals on the site.
In other business Monday night, town assessing agent Michael O’Donnell told the board that a townwide property revaluation can wait until at least 2017. But he suggested the town begin setting up funds to pay for the project in the next three budgets.
“Our assessed values are trending higher than market values. Since many sales are rejected as non-arm’s length transactions, our actual sales ratio as determined by Maine Revenue Services is close to 100 percent; however, we consistently see assessments at 110 percent of market value or more. In my opinion,” wrote O’Donnell, “we do not need to reset values at this time due to high assessments.
Also on Monday, the board reviewed preliminary numbers for emergency medical services by the town ambulance service, which began November 2013.
The data tracks those treated and transported by the town for bill collection through insurance, MediCare and Medicaid reimbursement, and those without insurance.
New Gloucester Rescue relies on Freeport Fire and Rescue as the town’s billing agent.
A glitch with obtaining certification for billing from Medicare and Medicaid was resolved with the help of staff from U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine.