The Sanford city council on Tuesday will decide if 9 Kirk St is a dangerous building under Maine law, another step in the process of cleaning up the property. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

The Sanford city council on Tuesday will decide if 9 Kirk St is a dangerous building under Maine law, another step in the process of cleaning up the property. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

SANFORD — The City Council on Tuesday will host a hearing on the public’s thoughts on whether a vacant house at 9 Kirk St., which has been a thorn in the side of neighbors for some time, is a dangerous building as defined by state statutes.  Later, the council will vote on the issue, and could move to do what is necessary to abate the problem, including demolition. Costs associated with clean up or demolition would be passed on to the owner as a special tax.

According to a report from the structural engineering firm  Civil Consultants, a Nov. 15 inspection with Codes Enforcement Officer Shirley Sheesley and Assistant Codes Officer Jamie Cole showed the 1910 building is structurally unsound.

“The roof has been compromised on the north side for what appears to be many years,” wrote structural engineer Geoffrey R. Aleva. “Water has entered the building and has destroyed the adjacent roof and floor systems. I would not allow access to the second floor due to safety concerns.”

Aleva said he believes the building is not a viable candidate for renovation, due to extreme damage and environmental moisture issues.

“The structure is not safe for occupancy or entry. If the structure is not addressed soon, it will become a safety issue for the neighboring properties,” Aleva wrote.

The 9 Kirk St. house, in the Springvale section of the city, is owned by Dianne McCaul, and first came to the council in November 2015. One neighbor, who has since passed away, called  the house “a dump and a fire hazard.”

At a November 2015 council meeting, McCaul said that she had her husband left during a foreclosure action, but the property had reverted back to them. At that time, she said, they hoped to do repairs so they could move back in. 

“No one wants it cleaned up more than (we do),” said McCaul at the time.

The property has been vacant for three years or more. City assessing records show the  property is valued at $47,800; the .19 acres of land associated with the property is valued at $35,800, with the remaining $11,900 as the value of the house.

The city received permission from the courts Nov. 9 to enter the structure. Sheesley listed a number of issues.

On documents forwarded to the City Council Sheesley said Aleva, the engineer, pointed out areas of the first floor he said would not be safe to walk on.

Inside, they found sagging and water-soaked ceiling and floors, deteriorating stairwells, apparent mold and stained and peeling walls, among other issues.  Outside, she noted, the shingle siding is falling off, there are holes in the eaves and the roof, the electric meter has been removed, there are broken windows and a host of other issues.

The council in February agreed to pursue court action after several failed attempts to get the owner to secure the property and remove hazards.

The City Council meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers on the third floor of City Hall.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]


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