OXFORD — Several residents of King Street addressed Selectmen and other officials at the July 2 meeting about issues that stretch back for years.

During the time for public comments Claudette Pierce, Mike Brown and Janette Smith raised concerns about speeding and aggressive driving on the street. In a highly congested neighborhood with minimal sidewalks, drivers regularly drive twice the posted speed limit of 25 miles per hour.

Claudette Pierce, who wrote a letter to the town about the dangerous conditions, told the Board that she has been threatened by drivers when she has asked them to slow down. She said the police have been supportive and she appreciates Oxford’s officers, but it is an unsafe road and more needs to be done.

Mike Brown also complained about the actions of drivers through the neighborhood. He said he could identify two vehicles specifically that are the worst offenders.

“Speeding is an emotional subject for the residents,” he said. “Is there a way we can track the speeds? I think people would be surprised just how fast they drive.”

Police Chief Michael Ward announced that the police department just received a radar device to monitor speeds. They will not be able to issue tickets with it but it does alert drivers of how fast they are going.

“We haven’t even gotten out of the box yet,” Ward said. “But we will set it up on King Street by end of next week.”

Sharon Jackson suggested adding a speed limit sign on the opposite side of the street might help.

The residents also pointed out that the section of sidewalk there is on King Street is in such poor condition that pedestrians find it easier to use the road instead.

“I am frightened to cross the road,” Smith stated. “It’s dangerous.”

Pierce and Smith, whose homes abut a vacant house at 260 King Street located between them, also asked that selectmen take action on the property. Six years ago the Board condemned the property and gave the owner, Leon Morse, 60 days to bring it into compliance.

The rear entrance to a house on King Street in Oxford that has been condemned for six years. Residents asked the town to demolish the building and clear the property of trash. File photo

Morse apparently made some nominal improvements but abandoned his efforts. The house is now in danger of collapsing. Old vehicles, a boat and a sauna-type shed remain in the yard along with other clutter and trash. Raccoons and other animals have taken up residence, adding to the health risks of neighbors.

Selectmen instructed Codes Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman to review the files on the property and notify the owner that the building will be demolished and all personal property on the site will be seized and removed.

Corey-Whitman said she would notify Morse that he has 15 days to claim any personal affects. She will also put out requests for bids to do the demolition and clean-up.

The notice was sent to Morse on Jul. 6 via certified mail. A lien for the amount the town has to pay to clear the property will be placed on it.


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