Bowdoinham selectmen are considering designating the recycling barn on Post Road as a so-called dangerous building, which would force it to cease operations.

The town ran its solid waste and recycling program from the building for three decades before it vacated the recycling barn last fall. The town moved the operation to the public works building after an engineering firm identified several structural issues and the state fire marshal’s office identified additional fire safety issues.

At that time, Town Manager Nicole Briand said she was focused on what to do with the town’s operation and wasn’t focusing on the building issues from the perspective of a code enforcement issue.

Briand said that, because the building meets the statutory definition of a “dangerous building”: “Per our policy, our codes enforcement officer is going to reach out to the property owner. … We need to have that conversation with the landowner to see what has been done, what they’re planning to have done and see what additional work may need to be done.”

State law allows selectmen to order repairs to a dangerous building to make it safe for the public. The town tries to work with a property owner before taking the matter to selectmen or to court, Briand said.

Selectman Peter Lewis argued at the board meeting Tuesday that there shouldn’t be operations in that building until it’s brought up to standards.

David Berry, who owns the recycling barn, said Wednesday the town isn’t using the building. Berry said he is working to ready the building for a temporary pilot recycling program he plans to launch April 3 to try to reduce recycling costs. The program will allow Bowdoinham residents to sort their recyclable materials and drop them through labeled windows at the barn without entering the building.

Berry also has a tenant living in an apartment on the third floor of the building.

Berry said he will meet with the town’s codes enforcement officer Thursday, “and we’ll just go through and see what he thinks is going to be doable and what isn’t. And I feel comfortable that we’ll be able to work out something to everybody’s advantage.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.