Norway cracks down on debris, nuisance properties

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NORWAY — Progress is being made to clean up about a dozen dangerous and nuisance properties around town, including debris from four burned-out buildings.

Town Manager David Holt reported to the Board of Selectmen this week that a burned-out house at 422 Wiley Road had been torn down and the debris removed.

Newly appointed Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman reported in a letter sent to the town that progress was being made on most of the burned properties since she began a notification process earlier this week.

According to her report, the former Pine Products building on Marston Street that burned in February is being “slowly and safely” demolished. However, Clean Harbors had to be called to the site to remove 120 gallons of lacquer thinner. The windows and doors are being boarded up to prevent any unauthorized access.

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The fire-ravaged rooming house at 467 Main St. has been sold and is due to be torn down any day.

Corey-Whitman said she would attempt to talk to the owners of the property at 157 Pikes Hill Road where debris from a house fire remains. She said she would wait until Monday to send a letter to the owners if she cannot reach them in person.

Towns have a legal right to secure structures or properties that pose serious threats to the public’s health and safety to the point of ordering structures torn down at the owners’ expense.

The town must notify the property owner and hold a hearing if it wishes to declare a site a nuisance or hazard and take further action to get it cleaned up. Corey-Whitman recently started the notification process.

The town may also ask the Superior Court for an order to demolish a structure or to remove debris if it is appropriate under the law.

At 370 Sodom Road, Corey-Whitman said the new owners called to tell her the site was being cleaned. The trailer and one shed were gone and the well had been filled in. The debris on the stream is being cleaned up, she said.

At 267 Wiley Road where there are abandoned cars, piles of tires and a 1978 trailer, Corey-Whitman said she talked with the owner and he would start cleaning up the debris. She is looking into the owner’s claim that there is an antique car law that allows him to store antique cars that are not registered.

At 142 Eddie Kahkonen Road, an old trailer with a collapsed roof is set to be removed over the next six weeks, she said.

ldixon@sunjournal.com

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