By Gary Nelson
Senior staff writer
Cumberland County attorney Randal Boston was authorized by the Health and Safety Standards Board to take legal action against a financial institution that owns property that has been dilapidated and abandoned for more than a year.
The property at 145 Guiness Dr. has been in foreclosure status for several months and has been listed to sell at the Cumberland County Courthouse several times.
The most recent time was just a few weeks ago and Nick Hedgecoth, HSSB member, said he attended the sale to see who would show up because nobody has responded to clean the property in spite of several letters and phone calls.
“The woman who offered to sell the property, had two kids in tow with her. One was in her arms and the other one was holding her hand. She was just hired to offer it for sale,” Hedgecoth said. “The opening bid was more than $28,340.08.”
“It’s probably someone that the bank contracted with and I believe that’s the total of all the fees that are owed on the property,” Boston said.
At one time the county believed Bank of America owned the property and Boston has sent them letters and has spoken with a representative from Bank of America, but there has been no action taken toward cleaning the property up
One neighbor, whose property adjoins 145 Guiness Dr., said they have been forced to vacate their home a couple of times over the past year because there are so many rats and foul odors. The property owner said he was forced to have the rats exterminated, but it’s been an ongoing battle with horrible odors.
“If this board authorizes me to, I can get (the case) in front of Judge (Larry) Warner and see about leveling a fine against them of $50 a day. That may get them to do something,” Boston said.
Brian Jones, HSSB member, made a motion to authorize Boston to take whatever legal action necessary against whatever financial institution that currently owns the property at 145 Guiness Dr.
Hedgecoth supported the motion and it was unanimously approved.
In other areas, the board voted to send a letter of violation to property owners at 93 Fox Den Lane.
The board also agreed unanimously to authorize attorney Boston take further legal action on a property owner at 467 Carter Town Rd.
“We have talked with her and she said she was going to get the property cleaned up and that was months ago and it looks even worse now than it did before. Nothing has been done there,” Nancy Hyder, 2nd District commissioner and HSSB chairman said.
Hedgecoth made a motion to allow Boston to take further action and it was supported by Jones.
The next Health and Safety Standards board meeting is scheduled for Sept. 17 at 3 p.m. in the conference room on the main floor of the Cumberland County Courthouse. The public is welcome to attend.