BANGOR, Maine — Between six and 12 people who were described as squatting in a foreclosed building on Garland Street were kicked out and the residence was boarded up on Wednesday, according to Jeremy Martin, director of code enforcement for Bangor.
Martin estimated that this was the sixth time in about six months that the city has been forced to remove people from an abandoned building. He said he has seen some of the same people each time it happens.
The building at 15 Garland St. was “deemed an imminent danger to the public,” Martin said. The property had been foreclosed on and is owned by Bank of America, he said.
When the police and code enforcers arrived, the people who had been living in the house scattered, according to Sgt. Tim Cotton of the Bangor Police Department. An officer was able to apprehend one person, Ernestine Chubbock, 47, who was arrested and charged with possession of heroin.
Cotton said she had nine bags of heroin, a pipe, a scale and more packaging in her possession.
“They’re really impacting neighborhoods quite significantly,” Martin said of the squatters. Residents and business owners near the building have complained multiple times over the last several months.
This particular property had not had running water since November, according to Martin. He said there was “human feces all over the place.”
The Bangor Police Department was on the scene to secure the area. Just after 1 p.m., the alleged squatters were gone, and Bangor Public Works officials were boarding up the house.
A neighbor who did not wish to be identified said he’d complained to police multiple times about the situation at the house.
He added that police and city officials had been very responsive to his and others’ complaints.
Bangor officials have taken steps in recent months to address the problem of abandoned properties in the city. The City Council passed an ordinance last October requiring owners of properties left vacant for more than 60 days to register them with the city.