Police & Fire

Dover-Foxcroft Select Board gives OK to demolish Lincoln Street property

DOVER-FOXCROFT — The Dover-Foxcroft Select Board authorized the demolition and removal of structures on the property at 72 Lincoln St. at its meeting Monday, Dec. 13, ending a monthslong debate over whether the property would be fixed up and occupied once a new owner took on the project.

Property owner Paul Shea, who is incarcerated, gave written permission for Peggy Gilbert to represent him and 1st Choice Property Management LLC. Gilbert will meet with a contractor to discuss a timeline for the demolition Tuesday, Dec. 14, she told board members via Zoom.

Complaints about the 72 Lincoln St. property date back 30 years and ramped up in the last year, when the board weighed the hazards of the deteriorating structures and ownership switched, offering hope to remedy the property. 

The board issued a dangerous building order for the house and attached barn in March and gave the owner several chances to make improvements. Based on an inspection Dec. 10 that found extensive damage and Shea’s failure to provide a written rehabilitation plan — including the project’s budget, financing, timeline and other details — the board decided to move ahead with the demolition.

The board did not give Gilbert a deadline for the demolition because members will wait to hear about her meeting with a contractor. Members agreed the process should be completed around the end of January when the ground is still frozen.

Town Manager Jack Clukey recommended a motion that authorizes him to move forward with the demolition and inform Shea that the town will take action to “recoup its costs for removing and disposing of structures, which could include the town applying a special assessment to the property or the town initiating civil legal action.”

Shea did not send a rehabilitation plan based on feedback from third-party building inspector Ken Salvucci, who recommended demolishing the structure, Gilbert said.

“The rock/rubble foundation is collapsing in several areas and wood structural members at the base of the exterior walls were found to be structurally unsound,” Salvucci noted in the inspection. He highlighted that wood joists on the second floor are fire damaged and exterior wall framing and wall sheathing is missing in several spots.

If the owner takes care of the demolition, it offers the town a lot of flexibility, Clukey said.

Select Board member Jane Conroy asked if Gilbert could submit a communication by the end of Tuesday to inform the board when the demolition would take place.

“Because I have noted back from last March when Mr. Shea indicated that the electricity would be there, that hopefully a happy resident would be living there before November,” she said. “We’re now into December. I’m not sure I have much faith, frankly.”

The town’s code enforcement officer would issue a demolition permit, Clukey said.

The board also approved a new liquor license application for The Mill Cafe along East Main Street and renewed liquor license applications for Chew 62 and Pat’s Pizza.

Members recognized the Climate Action Advisory Committee as a town advisory committee that will report to the board on or about quarterly. The appointment allows the climate committee to gather information on climate change, broadband and reducing dependency on fossil fuels; advise the Select Board based on its findings; and inform the board about grants, programs and regional efforts related to climate change and resiliency, according to the resolution.

During the town manager’s report, Clukey shared that longtime public works employee Rick Chambers died unexpectedly, and he will be missed. Chambers died Dec. 8, according to his obituary.

The wheeler plow truck that the town ordered last summer, which was supposed to be ready in January 2022, will be arriving in late February or March, Clukey said.

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