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North Adams Council Designates Building For Razing

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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The council has declared 160R Eagle St. a nuisance, giving the owner 30 days to repair or raze.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday declared a building at 160R Eagle St. a public nuisance and marked it for demolition.

The vacant structure had been before the council 11 years ago and again a month ago. Originally declared a nuisance and slated for demolition in 2001, the building somehow survived to come back before the council last month.

The public hearing was delayed then to ensure the owners — listed as both Michael Hernandez and Nandez LLC, with Hernandez as signatory — were properly notified.

"This has gone a long time and was started by my predecessor," said Building Inspector William Meranti. "The changes [since 2001] are indistinguishable. At this point I think it should be declared a public nuisance and razed."

A number of councilors said they had recieved emails from Hernandez about the building, claiming that he had addressed code issues and covered the doors and windows and intimated he may seek an injunction to hald the demolition.

Meranti said a building permit had been taken out but no significant work had been done. Mayor Richard Alcombright said the building was a blight and "continues to be in a sorry state of repairs and in neglect."

Councilor Jennifer Breen described the structure as an "eyesore" and a "rathole." Councilor John Barrett III noted that the council under his administration had already determined the building's fate a decade ago and that this was merely a confirmation vote.

"I think the bottom line is after 30 days the city has the right to move in and demolish this," he said.

The board unanimously approved designating the building a public hazard and ordered the owner to raze or repair it within 30 days. Hernandez did not attend the hearing.

"I'm a little disappointed Mr. Hernandez isn't here," said Councilor Lisa Blackmer. "He feels strongly enough he wants to write to but he does not show up."

Alcombright said the city had contracted with a company to tear down three buildings, including the Eagle Street one, but because of the delay that house may have to wait for the next round of funding.

Wilfred and Suzanne Rose have been waiting years to clear up an land ownership issue with the city.
The council also approved a transfer from the reserve account of $10,600 to the Department of Public Safety, Building Inspector, for the demolition of a house on Chase Avenue. The structure was severely damaged by fire and was uninsured, said Alcombright, leaving the cost for its removal on the city.

The council without delay also approved the delivery of a land grant to Wilfred and Suzanne Rose, who found a portion of their building was on city-owned land by the Hoosic River. The agreement ensures rights of way related to the proposed bike path.

"It will give Mr. and Mrs. Rose clear title, which they've been waiting quite a few years for, in order to market their property," said the mayor. "Hopefully, this will end that journey for them."

Barrett urged swift approval. "These people have been waiting for 20 years and I don't want them to wait any longer and would hope there wouldn't be any discussion of this."

There was not.

In other business, the council:

• Adopted at the second reading a borrowing order of $160,000 for technology upgrades.
• Approved the connection to the city sewer system by Raymond and Jeanne Moulthrop of Cross Road, Clarksburg.
• Approved the mayor's appointments of Amanda Chilson to the Youth Commission for a three-year term to end Aug. 31, 2015; Thomas Bernard (three years expiring Feb. 1, 2015), Suzanne Walker (two years expiring Feb. 1, 2014) and Jennifer Boland (one year expiring Feb. 1, 2013) to the Human Services Commission.
• Set a public hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 28, for National Grid's request to erect a pole on Daniels Road and two poles on Curran Highway.

Tags: appointments,   city council,   demolition,   public nuisance,   

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