May 30, 2024
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By NICOLE CARTER

The home becomes unlivable when the floors are sagging, timbers are rotten, sections collapse, water is damaged and there’s black mold.

The Board of Selectmen of Oxford voted, after consulting the town attorney, to hold an open hearing in 2024 regarding a building at 260 King Street that is dangerous.

Since at least 10 years, the town has received complaints regarding this building. A public hearing gives the owner of the building an opportunity to explain why past violations or agreements for improvements have not been resolved.

Selectmen must decide whether they will follow the recommendation of a recent inspection report by an engineer to demolish the home.

James A. Thibodeau, professional Engineer and President of Associated Design Partners, Inc., of Falmouth, inspected the building with Leon Morse, owner of the property, Kingston Brown, and Cpl. Zachary Bisson, of the Oxford Police Department.

Thibodeau informed Brown in a letter of Sept. 28 that Brown’s house should be demolished and condemned for multiple reasons, such as the risk of it collapsing.

Thibideau said: “The property on Map U-6 Lot 11 is not safe for occupancy …. …, Unsafe air quality (potentially toxic because of advanced wood rot and mold contamination across …. The cost of cleaning, repairing, or restoring this unsafe structure would be prohibitive.

I therefore recommend demolition and condemnation in accordance to Section 115 [International Existing Building Code] of the 2015 International Existing Building Code.”

This report includes 100 photos of both the inside and outside of the house. The interior photographs show extensive water and mold damage, as well as furniture and personal belongings. Rotted woods are also shown, as is long-term rodent nests.

Adam Garland, Town Manager said: “Our lawyer will perform title searches and conduct other due diligence.” The owner will then be notified of the hearing.

If Oxford decides to demolish the building, they’ll likely put a lien against the property in order to recover their costs.

Hearing will take place on January 18th at 6pm at town offices on Pottle Road.

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