News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, August 8, 2019
Property demolition deadline extended

by Monique Labbe

Property owners at 563 Castine Road have until August 12 to clean up and haul off debris from their lot before town officials step in and hire a contractor to complete the task, at the cost to the owners, according to the selectmen at their August 5 meeting.

Nancy and Douglas Keene, the owners of the property, met with the selectmen and former town manager Jimmy Goodson as part of a public hearing in May, during which time a work list was agreed to, which included making the house on the property habitable, as well as clearing away any and all accessory structures, including a camper, barn and woodshed. That work list was to be completed no later than July 19, at which time the town could step in.

As of the August 5 meeting, work has been done to the house to make it livable, but there is still debris from the accessory structures.

Nancy Keene reported to the board that she “would have had everything cleaned up by the weekend [of August 3], but she did not have the roll away garbage bin on her property at the time.

“I had the crew there and everything, but we didn’t have the roll away,” she said. “It’s back now, though, so I just need to get the crew back and we’ll do it.”

Selectman Gordon MacArthur noted that the board has given the owners “more than enough time,” and he would like to have the town take care of it immediately so they can be “done with it.”

Town Manager Shawn Blodgett and Selectman Colin Powell both mentioned that per the town’s lawyer’s advice, the owners need to have “ample” time to collect any personal items before the town would go in to complete the job.

“But why can’t I have a little more time to do it myself, at my cost?” Keene asked the selectmen.

Peter Vogell responded that the selectmen have been “bending over backwards” to accommodate the owners, and asked Keene how much time she would need. One to two weeks was the answer, but after the selectmen said two weeks was too long, Keene said she could “definitely” do it within a week.

Because it would take some time to hire a contractor to come do the demolition, the selectmen said that if Keene can have the property cleaned up, and everything hauled off except the house, before the contractor gets there, then they will not be charged. If the work is not done before that time, the demolition will happen and the owners will be billed by the town. Blodgett said an estimate he received for the work is around $6,000.

“I can have a contractor in seven days,” said Blodgett. “Which means that if the work is not done by August 12, the contractor will be there on August 13.”

The owners said they would have the work done by that time.

In other board business, Blodgett gave an update on the continuing paving projects happening in Castine this summer, noting that many have been completed and others are close to completion. The next project will be doing some clean up at the Backshore Pond.