RUMFORD — Seven tax-acquired properties have gone out to bid and more will be announced at the Thursday, May 2, Board of Selectmen meeting.

Town Manager Carlo Puiia told selectmen Thursday night that he’s completed the paperwork on seven properties and is working on paperwork for more tax-acquired properties to put out to bid next month.

“I knew I could get these in order and get them out, and I do want to apologize for taking so long to get to this,” Puiia said.

The properties are:

* 0.14 acres on Kennebec Street, Map 113, Lot 045; minimum bid $197.05.

* 0.10 acres on York Street, Map 117, Lot 210; minimum bid $2,119.12.

* 0.08 acres and buildings at 24 Erchles St., Map 113, Lot 133; minimum bid $1,735.

* 0.08 acres and buildings at 8 Franklin St., Map 117, Lot 127; minimum bid $7,121.

* Half an acre and buildings at 8 Royal Ave, Map 212, Lot 109; minimum bid $8,922.

* 0.12 acres and buildings at 41 Lochness Road, Map 113, Lot 089; minimum bid $2,369.

* 0.09 acres and buildings at 134 Penobscot St., Map 117, Lot 201; minimum bid $4,288.

The Penobscot Street property carries a covenant that the building must be razed and all debris removed within six months.

All bids, which must be in writing, must be received by 4 p.m. Friday, May 10, Puiia said. They will be opened at 3 p.m. Monday, May 13, in Puiia’s office, and selectmen will take action on them at their Thursday, May 16, board meeting.

Puiia said he will have the information posted on the town’s website at www.rumfordmaine.net.

“We did attempt to sell a couple of these the last time we had a sale,” he said. “There just wasn’t any public interest, but I know there are a couple of abutters who may be interested, and I will inform them again.”

Selectman Jolene Lovejoy asked why there isn’t any stipulation that the other buildings must be razed.

Puiia said the others are all single-family houses. The Penobscot Street property, he said, was a deteriorating, multi-family building that the board previously recommended be removed.

“I think it’s in the town’s best interest that we put that covenant in there,” he said.

Resident Kevin Saisi asked why the town has not considered contracting with a nonprofit holding company, such as the River Valley Growth Council, to handle tax-acquired properties.

The town would recoup its costs, but any additional monies received from the sales would be placed in a fund and used to remove other dilapidated buildings in town, he said.

“It’s a management plan to help take care of some of the buildings, because there’s a glut of — I don’t want to say unsavory buildings — but unsafe buildings, and all I’ve seen happen is that we ended up with getting a grant to spruce them back up to minimum standards so people could move in, and these are buildings that should be torn down,” Saisi said.

“So to put buildings out to bid without having really investigated this other option, I think is irresponsible, because we should really be moving ahead to try and clean up our town.”

Selectmen Vice Chairman Jeff Sterling said he thought the grant money was for privately owned properties.

“What grant money?” Saisi asked. “I didn’t say anything about grant money.”

“Yes, you did,” Puiia said. “You just mentioned grant monies being obtained to fix our buildings.”

“I never said the word ‘grant,’ Mr. Puiia,” Saisi said.

After more discussion on the matter, Lovejoy said, “At this point, I think any additional money should go to reducing taxes.” That prompted an off-topic barb from Saisi, before the board ended discussion.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: