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PI council condemns three dangerous buildings

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The owners of three condemned buildings in Presque Isle have until Oct. 5 to tear down the problematic structures, following a Sept. 5 vote by the Presque Isle City Council.

The three homes — located at 58 Chapman Road, 11 Braden Street and 12 Spring Street — were named as dangerous buildings by the Presque Isle Code Enforcement Office last summer and came before the councilors to be condemned at the Sept. 5 council meeting.

City Manager Martin Puckett said during the meeting that these buildings have become public safety hazards in their neighborhoods by attracting wildlife and sometimes drawing itinerant occupants.

“The code enforcement officer doesn’t go out looking for these properties,” Puckett said. “This is a result of complaints from abutters and from the public.”

The home at 58 Chapman Road is owned by a corporation owned by Norman Bourgoin, whose attorney unsuccessfully sought to delay the property’s condemnation decision until November.

Presque Isle code enforcement officer George Howe said that the Chapman Road home’s roof “is in really, really bad shape” and has collapsed floors. “If anybody did get in there, they’d be in danger.”

The home at 12 Spring Street is owned by Theresa and Guy Woodworth, who have been disassembling it since it was condemned last year, Howe said. The owners have removed its wiring and plumbing and have been planning to have it demolished, he said.

Clayton Rand, who lives next door, said at the meeting that he fears the vacant building could pose a fire risk to his home, in addition to harboring wildlife.

“I’ve been killing racoons. I’ve been killing groundhogs,” Rand said. “I’m sick and tired of this place being there. If this house starts a fire, my house is going to go down with it.”

The third home, at 11 Braden Street, is a bank-owned property that has extensive mold damage due to flooding in the finished basement, Howe said.

“The mold is ludicrous. It’s dangerous to go in there with just a simple mask on.”

According to the council’s condemnation order, the owners have 30 days, or until Oct. 5, to demolish the buildings. Failure to comply with the order would come with a penalty of $100 per day and a charge for the city’s costs to take down the structures.

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