Athol moving ahead to rehabilitate or raze about 75 vacant buildings

  • Seen from across the road, the deterioration of the house at 1128 Main St., Athol is not readily apparent. STAFF PHOTO/DEBORRAH PORTER

  • Views of the extensive deterioration of  inside house at 1128 Main St. were captured during an inspection by the town prior to its decision to raze the building. COURTESY ATHOL BUILDING INSPECTOR

Staff Writer
Published: 9/18/2018 11:06:13 PM
Modified: 9/19/2018 8:36:07 AM

ATHOL — Asbestos has been removed from the vacant two-story house owned by the town at 1128 Main St., and it’s now ready to be razed.

Building inspector Bob Legare said, “The next step will be to write up the scope of work to be able to get demo prices.”

The demolition is a top priority by the town due to the building’s deteriorating condition and location on the side of a hill. Asbestos was found in two rooms, one upstairs and the other on the main floor. It was removed by Enviro Contracting Solutions of Westminster at a cost of $7,200. Environmental Sampling and Testing from Ashburnham conducted a followup inspection and air test and cleared the building for demolition.

The house, built around 1900, was taken by the town through tax title on May 14. The eight room, two-story colonial-style home and detached two-car garage sit on 0.38 acres of land.

The property is at the top of the list of more than approximately 75 structures in town targeted by the Vacant and Abandoned Buildings Committee for either demolition or rehabilitation, according to Legare. The VABC has not held a meeting since last year.

Structures on the committee’s list are those that have been abandoned, foreclosed, are town owned or are in receivership. Buildings with a red “X” affixed to the outside signifies that the structure is not structurally sound, and cautions citizens from entering the building because of safety concerns.

Photos taken by the building department show extensive water damage, broken windows, a coll  apsing front section facing Main Street, deteriorating ceilings and floors, rubbish throughout and foliage growing in one of the rooms on the upper level.

The property has an detached garage that will also have to be removed.

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