Councilors get update on Lewiston building demolitions, new rules

Posted May 08, 2013, at 6:15 a.m.

LEWISTON, Maine — Three more of the buildings damaged by fires over the last 10 days should come down by next week, councilors learned Tuesday.

Councilors agreed to move the demolition of 116 Pierce St. ahead at their meeting Tuesday. Code Enforcement Officer Tom Maynard said the city likely will have contractors submit bids to demolish the two-unit tenement by Friday. The building is likely to be torn down early next week.

Norm Beauparlant, Lewiston’s budget and purchasing director, said the city has the agreement to move forward on the demolition of buildings 114 and 118 Bartlett St. on Wednesday. He plans to meet with demolition contractors to take bids on those projects that day, and demolition work could begin later this week.

Beauparlant said the work at the two buildings demolished last week after the April 29 fire — buildings at 105 Blake and 172 Bates streets — should be complete by Friday.

“Everyone has cooperated very, very well, as we’ve gone through this,” Beauparlant said.

Councilors also heard an update on new ordinances designed to help clean up the downtown.

City Administrator Ed Barrett said he is investigating creating a disorderly property ordinance that would give the city authority to require landlords to crack down on bad tenant behavior.

“There are models around the state and at some point we will be coming to the council at a workshop to discuss it with the council and see if there is any interest,” Barrett said. “We recognize we have to discuss this with landlords, as well. This is not an attempt just to fine and collect money but to draw attention to problems and work with landlords to get them solved.”

Councilors and Mayor Robert Macdonald praised all city employees for their response to the fires.

“Each of these departments rose to the challenge in an exemplary manner,” Macdonald said.

He applauded the fire, police, public works, planning, social services and finance departments for their roles.

“It is evident that it took the entire organization to effectively respond to these emergencies,” Macdonald said. “I won’t forget your efforts and those of the staff and neither will our residents, especially those impacted by these events.”

 

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