Wednesday, April 11, 2012

If It’s Contaminated, We Don’t Want It

By: Duane Craig

From Wilton, Maine, comes a complicated story of politics, money, asbestos contamination, lawsuits, fines and more as the town tries to avoid foreclosing on a contaminated property.

The problem with the vacant property is that it is contaminated with asbestos, and the contractor who was cleaning up the mess has quit while owing about $150,000 in workplace safety fines to a federal agency. The property’s owner has stopped making payments on the back taxes, which will lead to an automatic foreclosure by the town if something isn’t done, and soon. The state of Maine has also entered the fray and is planning on suing the building owners because the contractor handling the cleanup broke laws when removing the asbestos. The voters will have to decide in a special meeting called by the Selectmen whether or not to foreclose.

There is much more to this story right here, along with an interesting range of examples in which municipalities are facing difficulties in similar situations.

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