SPRINGVALE, Maine — The city of Sanford is considering legal action against a Springvale man who refuses to remove a pile of trash from his property.
“I think it’s absolutely disgusting,” said neighbor Cindy Broadard.
Mattresses, computers, tires, insulation and egg cartons sit in a pile across from her home.
“It’s taking away the value of other people’s property,” said Broadard. “And I’ve been complaining to the city for over a year.”
She’s not the only one.
“I’ve noticed quite a few people talking about it, how it’s an eyesore, and on hot days, it starts to stink,” said Phillip Libby.
Shirley Sheesley, code enforcement officer, said the pile appeared at 17 Reed St. in November and has been growing ever since.
“Even today, there are trash bags out here since the last time we inspected, which was a couple weeks ago,” said Sheesley on Wednesday.
She said it’s simply unacceptable.
“If there were contaminates, there could be potential for groundwater contamination,” Sheesley said.
Plus, it’s a violation of state and local law. Despite two notices, an order to clean up, and a vote by the City Council last week to pursue legal action, property owner Peter Viverios has refused.
Viveiros declined an interview, but told WGME that the trash was left behind by his tenants when they moved out.
With vacant apartments, and his hours cut at work, Viveiros said he doesn’t have the money to do anything about it. If it bothers people, he said, they should pitch in to get rid of it.
Nearby property owner Forest Nohr is spearheading an effort to pick up all the trash and plant seeds for a community garden.
“Apparently the neighbors have talked to him, and he’s agreed to that plan,” said Sheesley.
Another man, Jeff Simpson, is partially donating a dumpster. It was expected to be dropped off Thursday morning.
But it’s not a done deal just yet.
“They better test the soil,” said Broadard.
The city, too, will be keeping a close eye. And if necessary, Sheesley said, they’ll sort out the trash matter in court.