Borough razes blighted home

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Workers demolish the blighted house at 146 Walnut St. in Naugatuck June 5. –REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
Workers demolish the blighted house at 146 Walnut St. in Naugatuck June 5. –REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

NAUGATUCK — After several years of delays, the borough has torn down a blighted house at 146 Walnut St.

Connecticut Dismantling of Bridgeport began demolishing the house June 5 with a backhoe and most of it was razed by the afternoon.

Public Works Director James Stewart said the house was completely razed by Tuesday and the property is expected to be completely cleaned up by Friday. Stewart said he expects the final bill for the demolition of the house to come to approximately $37,000.

The 1,840-square-foot, Old Style home was owned by former Naugatuck burgess and tax collector Lois Ackerman, who lived there since her childhood. Local officials said the house, which had a role in the roof and walls collapsing inward, was a health and fire hazard. They said the house had debris stacked about five feet high and had animals and rodents living inside. In 2007, they ordered that it be torn down and helped Ackerman find alternate housing.

Despite several attempts to save the house through a local appeals process and the court system, Ackerman lost her final appeal, and Naugatuck decided to move forward with demolition of the house, which locals had complained about for years.

Ackerman, 77, is a Republican who served as burgess from 1993 to 2004. She was appointed tax collector when the late Henry Kogut resigned in 2004. She served in that role until losing re-election in 2007 to current Tax Collector James Goggin.

Ackerman has said it was always her intention to repair the home but she ran out of money because of the economy.

Luke Marshall contributed to this article.