Clarksburg Mulls Options on House Taken for Taxes

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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Selectmen Jeffrey Levanos and Chairwoman Lily Kuzia review a letter on geocaching at Wednesday's meeting.

CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The Selectmen are trying to find the compassionate approach to the disposition of 341 Wells Ave.

The town took the property in November 2013 for failure to pay more than $4,000 in back taxes and fees from 2009 and 2010. The McPherson family continues to live in the house and has offered to pay rent and the house insurance.

Selectman Jeffrey Levanos said a family member had tried to pay the taxes in full but the treasurer/collector found a lien on the property from a nursing home.

"It's been paid for since the 1970s and to have the nursing home come and take it ... ," Levanos said at Wednesday's meeting. "I'm really not sure how to handle it. ... Evicting him out of his own family's home."

The town has to hold the property for year before it can sell it.

"It's better to have someone in the house, anyway," said Levanos.

Chairwoman Lily Kuzia said she was amenable to renting the property but wonder if it was legal.

"We should find out if the town can even do that," she said.

The two board members agreed they would be willing to renting the property if it were legally able to do so. They will take up the matter again on Tuesday, April 29, at 5 p.m.

The board also appointed Planning Board Chairman David Sherman as the designee to monitor the removal of gravel from the North Adams Country Club.

Owner James Basiliere is in the process of removing 450,000 cubic feet of gravel and earth out of the property to transform it into 18-hole golf course. He was issued a two-year permit last May.

In other business:

Interim Town Administrator Debbie Choquette reported that the town had recieved $11,000 from the state's one-time pothole program. Highway crews had begun patching potholes last week.

Board read a report on the conditions of the Clarksburg Cemetery. Highway foreman Kyle Hurlbut sent pictures showing the deteriorating condition of the block wall on the north side. The Selectmen requested that the town accountant determine how much is in the cemetery trust account.

The board also approved geocaching in response to a letter asking to place caches on the outskirts of the Henderson Road cemetery. The caches would be placed in trees and under rocks, not near any graves. The letter writer had also asked to site them at the Beth Isreal Cemetery but Kuzia noted that property is private and not under town control.

Tags: back taxes,   delinquent taxes,   

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