"We have neighbors to this particular property who are doing their best to maintain their properties and sadly the condition of this property is having a negative effect with diminished property values and diminished quality of life. This will be a top, top priority for me in my administration," she said at the time.
The three-unit rental property at 49-55 John St. was the backdrop. On Wednesday, the Board of Health ordered for it to be demolished.
"This property has been a blight in the neighborhood for more than seven years and it's time," Code Enforcement Inspector Mark Blaisdell told the Board of Health.
Blaisdell said code enforcement began seven years ago. In October 2016, the department ramped up issuing nuisance letters, ticketing the property owner, issuing nuisance orders, and even met with the property owner multiple times on site.
"Code enforcement has remained unsuccessful. He does the most minimal things to do for compliance," Blaisdell said.
Blaisdell said the property is a safety risk for anybody who walks onto it and cited some specific areas of the building that were in "dire need" of repair.
In May 2017, the city issued an order of condemnation. And now, the Board of Health has given the OK for it to be demolished.
Health Director Gina Armstrong said the house will be added to another lengthy list of properties awaiting demolition. A "code enforcement team" consisting of the building inspectors and Fire, Health, and Engineering departments meets monthly with representatives from Community Development and the city solicitor, and the Purchasing Department will determine which of those on the list gets taken down.
Just recently, that group ordered four other properties to be razed. Later in the year, the city is expected to order another round of demolitions and 49-55 John St. could end up on that list. Or, it could end up being pushed to a later round. Armstrong said the properties chosen for demolition are based on a number of factors and not necessarily in order of when the demolitions were approved.
The Board of Health also issued demolition orders for 37-39 Curtis St. and 100 John St. as well on Wednesday, adding to the number of properties slated to eventually meet their maker.
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Pittsfield City Council to Discuss Homeless Solutions
By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday sent a group of petitions regarding the city's homeless population to the subcommittee on Public Health and Safety.
The three petitions ask officials to consider measures to safeguard the homeless and begin a conversation about homelessness within the city limits.
"I am glad we are having this discussion, and I look forward to hearing it," Councilor at Large Peter White said. "This has been an issue here for a long time and having people live in the park is not a long terms solution."
Late into the six-hour meeting Tuesday, councilors came to the agreement that although Connell is spending much of his time quarantining out of state, his primary residence is still in Pittsfield.
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