WILTON, Maine — The Board of Selectmen unanimously decided Tuesday to take action against an Adams Street homeowner if his property was not cleaned up by Thursday.
After numerous complaints about the cluttered yard, some dating back to 2009, the board gave Duane Pollis until Thursday to clean up his yard or face a $100-a-day fine and court action. Pollis will also be expected to pay attorney costs for the town if it goes to court.
The fine, attorney fees and court action are spelled out in the town’s building and property maintenance ordinance passed in June.
Town Manager Rhonda Irish wanted to discuss the issue with legal counsel before sending Pollis notice of the town’s intent.
Several letters, including a certified one, have been sent to Pollis. One letter provided an extension until Sept. 30 for compliance with the ordinance, Irish said.
Pollis has not contacted the town and has made no attempt to appeal to the board, which the ordinance allows.
“He’s ignoring us, ignoring our letters and ignoring the board,” Irish said. She suggested the board move toward court action.
Pollis was not present at Tuesday’s meeting.
Some board members, including Terry Brann and Tom Saviello, thought the new ordinance should be followed.
“There’s an ordinance in place,” Saviello said. “We need to follow the ordinance.”
The ordinance committee and town officials endorsed the law to get property owners to clean up trash and junk from their yards for health and safety reasons.
Prior to passage of the ordinance, the code enforcement officer talked to homeowners about property conditions and sometimes brought them before the board but there was no law giving officials authority to order cleanup.
Pollis has made attempts to clean up the property, according to Jamie Cunningham, who is helping him with the work in exchange for housing.
Cunningham was at the property Wednesday morning and said Pollis works long hours on construction projects. He brings home piles of used wood and materials from job sites to use on his home.
Cunningham pointed to areas where items had been near the property line but have recently been removed, he said.
Pollis is also dealing with the death of a loved one in June, Cunningham said.
Selectmen also discussed Pollis having chickens that stray around the neighborhood. The birds are now confined to a cage, Cunningham said, although one errant chicken soon strutted across the yard as he spoke Wednesday.
Pollis has been a good neighbor, according to Robert Jellison, who lives in the next house. Pollis usually mows and gardens but this summer he’s been dealing a death, Jellison said.