Commission sets date for blight remediation

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The home at 52 Williams Drive in Prospect is at the center of an ongoing blight case. –FILE PHOTO

PROSPECT — The Anti-Blight Commission this week set a date for the town to remediate blight at a private home, but it’s unclear whether officials will move forward with the cleanup.

Timothy and Beatrice Meehan own the home at 52 Williams Drive, which is at the center of blight complaints. The commission first sent the Meehans a warning notice, which gave the Meehans 30 days to remediate the problem, in December 2017 regarding items, including wooden pallets, cars and machinery, strewn about the property.

The Meehans subsequently cleaned up the front yard some, but the commission contended the blight conditions remained on other parts of the property and issued them a citation in March.
At the request of the commission, the Town Council last month approved moving forward with cleaning up the property.

On Thursday, the commission set Dec. 5 as the date for the cleanup. However, the Meehans have a chance to prove they’ve done enough to satisfy the commission.

Timothy Meehan presented the commission with photographs of the property. However, the commission felt the photographs were too blurry to determine if the property has been properly cleaned.

“We, as a commission, have to verify the fridge, the stove, whatever was back there, is actually gone. We need to see it and photograph it for ourselves,” commission Chair Brenda Martin said.

Members of the commission are scheduled to visit the property on Sunday to verify that the Meehans have cleaned up the blight. If members are satisfied, the commission plans to set a special meeting to vote to stop the town’s remediation.

Beatrice Meehan said she would be OK with commission members coming onto the couple’s yard, but only if they stayed on the side of the house that was the subject of the first complaint.

“That doesn’t mean you need to extend passed our deck to the other side of the yard,” Beatrice Meehan said.

The town will still move forward with the remediation if the commission isn’t satisfied. If the town moves forward, the Public Works Department or a remediation company will clean up the property. Under the town’s blight ordinance, the cost of the remediation, which has not been calculated, will be placed against the house as a lien.

Timothy Meehan said if the town does try to remediate the property, he will consider it criminal trespassing.

“I will not allow anybody on the property,” Timothy Meehan said.