Rundown homes have been deemed a health, fire hazard
NAUGATUCK — Two dilapidated homes that local officials say have become dangerous will be torn down in the near future.
The borough is about to request bids for demolition companies interested in tearing down homes at 1 Orchard Terrace and 146 Walnut St., said Ed Carter, aide to Mayor Robert Mezzo.
“The only time the borough has ever torn a building down is because of safety issues,” he said, adding that it is rare. “In these two cases, there are issues being brought forth by the building inspector about safety — they are not being torn down because of blight.”
Neighbors have complained about 146 Walnut St. for several years. The home, which is owned by former burgess and tax collector Lois Ackerman, has been described by borough officials as having debris stacked at least five feet high inside and as being a haven for rodents, raccoons and other animals. Building Inspector William Herzman has deemed that the house, which has a hole in the roof and walls that are collapsing inwards, is a health and fire hazard. In 2007, he ordered that it be torn down.
Ackerman, who is not living in the house, attempted to save the home through the court system several times, but she has lost her last appeal, Carter said. Consequently, the borough has conducted an environmental study of the property to determine if there is any asbestos, lead or other potential hazardous materials. The results of that study have not come back yet, officials said.
That house is a two-family Old Style home of about 1,840 square feet. It was built in 1891. The house at 1 Orchard Terrace is a cottage-style home detached from the main building. Carter said it is about 1,100 square feet; it was constructed in 1900. He believes it was damaged in a storm and has deteriorated over several years.
The borough has an agreement with the mortgage holder of the Orchard Terrace property to get paid back for the amount it costs to tear it down. Naugatuck will probably have to put a lien on Ackerman’s property, Carter said.
Naugatuck Public Works Director Jim Stewart said he hopes to have the buildings torn down by the end of April or beginning of May.