WILTON — The next step to settling the Forster Mill demolition issue is mediation with the owner, Wilton Recycling LLC, in September, Town Manager Rhonda Irish told the Board of Selectmen this week.

Mediation is scheduled for either Sept. 19 or 22 to settle the town’s lawsuit to have the property declared a dangerous building, as determined by state law.

If mediation doesn’t work, the resolution could take up to another year in the court system, she said previously.

The board hired an engineering consultant to review the property and he found the structure to be unsafe with very little material left for salvage, she said.

Some town officials toured the mill with the consultant.

“They took their lives in their hands,” Selectman Tom Saviello said.

Demolition of the building started in 2011 but stopped after high levels of asbestos were found. Abatement work has been done, but there is still potential for asbestos in the roof and in the boiler room.

Wilton Recycling LLC owner Adam Mack has failed to provide funding to continue the demolition.

Last July, the board agreed to take civil action. 

According to Maine law, municipal officers can declare a building dangerous if it is deemed structurally unsafe, unsanitary, a fire hazard or unsuitable for use or occupancy. They can serve the owner and any lienholders notice, along with a request for the owner to dispose of the building. The town can also seek an order of demolition by filing a complaint with the Franklin County Superior Court, according to the law.

Although the board has waived foreclosure on the property in recent years, it chose this spring to let voters decide whether to foreclose.

The board has hesitated to foreclose because the town would own the property and face the estimated $300,000 cost to demolish the building and clean up the site.

Mack paid enough back taxes to avoid foreclosure just hours before voters gathered for a special town meeting in March.

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