WILTON — The town is seeking a court order to force Wilton Recycling LLC to remove all unsafe conditions at the Forster building on Depot Street within 30 days.

The complaint was recently filed in Franklin County Superior Court. It asks the court to allow the town to remove the unsafe conditions and be awarded costs for removal of the structure and building materials if Wilton Recycling LLC does not complete the work in the time allotted.

The town first asked the court to order that the structure is a dangerous building as defined by state law, according to the court document.

The Board of Selectmen unanimously agreed in July to start the process to claim the former mill as a dangerous building.

The town has continued efforts to deal with property owner Adam Mack, operating under the company name of Wilton Recycling LLC, since demolition of the building was halted in July 2011. At that time, Department of Environmental Protection testing found significant amounts of asbestos disturbed by a demolition crew working for Ryan Byther of Downeast Construction.

After months of seeking an abatement plan, DEP gave the owner one last chance to start remediation work in July 2012 before the federal Environmental Protection Agency undertook the work. DEP approved the cleanup at the mill site in September 2012.

Since then, Mack was sentenced in April to six months in federal prison on an unrelated charge. While the town dealt with representatives of Mack for more than a year, demolition remained on hold mainly because of the estimated costs involved. 

For a state-approved, reputable company to undertake the demolition work, Mack’s latest representative estimated the cost at $250,000 to $350,000.  The representative was only given about $30,000 from Mack to work with, Town Manager Rhonda Irish told the board in July.

An inspection earlier this year revealed that the revenue expected from reclaimed metal and wood was not there. What is there is not of great value, she said.

The site has “freestanding walls that are structurally unsafe” and flooring that is “unsafe and is in danger of collapse,” according to the court file.  A container of building materials, with some products containing asbestos, was left along with loose building materials.

“The threat of collapse and fire danger, in addition to the fact that the building is unsecured, therefore accessible to trespassers, poses a serious threat to public health, safety and welfare,” town attorneys from the firm of Bernstein Shur of Augusta said in the document.

The costs sought by the town include removal of unsafe conditions, materials, attorney fees and other costs associated with the removal of the structure and building materials.

The suit against Wilton Recycling LLC includes parties-in-interest MECAP, LLC of Portland and Abatement Professionals Corp. of Westbrook.

MECAP is the holder of a mortgage, security agreement, lease assignment and financial statement by Wilton Recycling LLC.

Abatement Professionals Corp, which handled the asbestos cleanup, contends an interest in the building due to a lien against Wilton Recycling.

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