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Demolition to begin on two derelict buildings in Houlton

HOULTON, Maine — Two derelict buildings in the community, that have sat vacant for more than a decade, will soon be demolished.

Houlton Town Councilors gave their unanimous approval to transferring $27,200 from the town’s undesignated fund balance to start the demolition process on two adjacent buildings located at 29 High St. and 31 High St.

The buildings are owned by the estate of Joan M. Wylie and the town is interested in trying to recoup the costs of the removal. The estate owes property taxes to the town on both houses totaling $1,837.

Before demolition could commence, the town had to pay for asbestos removal at the two buildings. That expense was covered by the town’s general budget, but the town hopes to recoup those costs too.

“These are properties that are part of an estate in town that our attorney has found a process to attach on a mortgage for fees that we are already owed,” Houlton Town Manager William MacDonald said. “We will also be putting liens on the two properties as a way to be reimbursed. These are two hazardous properties that are in pretty bad condition.”

The town does not currently own the properties, but has received a court judgement, MacDonald said, to recover the fees associated with the demolition and asbestos removal.  He acknowledged that it could take some time for the matter to be resolved and for the town to recoup its expenses.

J.McLaughlin Construction was awarded the low bid of $27,200 for the project. Demolition was anticipated to begin as soon as possible. The town has established a deadline of Sept. 30 for completion.

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