Board also considers possible dangerous building

Owls Head awards bid on sewer line easement survey

By George Chappell | Nov 07, 2012
Photo by: George Chappell The vacant trailer on Ash Point Road in Owls Head is being considered a "dangerous building" by the town.

Rockland — Owls Head selectmen on Nov. 5 awarded a sole bid of $1,800 to Landmark Construction Co. of Warren to survey a proposed easement for a sewer line.

Selectmen also voted to contact the owner of a vacant mobile home on Ash Point Drive seeking permission to enter the premises to conduct an inspection to determine if the building is considered a dangerous building.

Katherine MacPherson has offered land she owns on Ingraham Hill to provide for the possible extension of the existing public sewer line from the end of the south end of Cottage Avenue to the north end of Knowlton Avenue.

At the Aug. 20 annual town meeting, Owls Head residents gave the board permission to enter into an agreement with MacPherson to accept the easement deed.

The town in return would have the property surveyed and pay the connection fee to Rockland for two services to connect into the proposed Knowlton Avenue pump station and to raise up to $6,000 for the survey work and legal services.

"This is just about the survey," Board Chairman Richard Carver said. "We're not doing the whole job."

In other business before the board, selectmen voted 3-0 to write a letter to the owner of the property at 511 Ash Point Road asking permission to enter the premises and conduct an inspection. The letter would give the owner five days to respond.

The town is considering the dwelling, a mobile home, to be classified as a possible dangerous building, located on a three-sided, 40,000-square-foot lot backing up to the water. No one lives in the building now. The trailer is on a slab or blocking and has been unoccupied for years, according to the town office records.

In August, neighbors of the property attended a meeting and asked the board to authorize the code officer to take action.

Selectmen consulted the Maine Municipal Association on the issue of dangerous buildings.

"Over the years, windows and doors have been boarded up, but also just as often the broken windows have been exposed," Carver wrote in an email to the MMA.

Richard Flewelling of MMA's Legal Services Department replied that the definition of a dangerous building is for the selectmen to determine, based on the evidence. The board may seek a determination from the Maine Superior Court, he said.

One reason for not removing the trailer has been the lot size itself, which is a non-conforming size. Selectmen said the owner's concern is that removing the building would remove the footprint so that another building could not be put in its place.

The board has decided that the next step should be to get the owner's permission to go on the property for an inspection.

In other business Nov. 5, the board gave the go-ahead to Harbormaster Jeff LaBrozzi to look into costs related to repairing the docks at the town harbor.

"The big float is still in the water," said LaBrozzi.

Eric Davis of the American Lighthouse Foundation said the foundation would like to move its offices into the building next to the Owls Head Lighthouse for use year-round. The move would require getting a license for use of the house and tower from its owner, the U.S. Coast Guard, Davis said.

Code Enforcement Officer Scott Bickford said the matter might be given to the planning board for approval.

The board also gave permission to the Mussel Ridge Historical Society to borrow folding tables owned by the town for the society's crafters' fair at the Owls Head Transportation Museum on Saturday, Nov. 17.

Courier Publications reporter George Chappell can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401, ext. 117, or by email at gchappell@courierpublicationsllc.com.

 

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