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Vacant Berlin property still awaits demolition

Councilman Dean Burrell raises concerns about a vacant home on the corner of Flower and Showell streets Monday evening during a Town Council meeting.

By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer

(July 11, 2019) A dilapidated home on the corner of Showell and Flower Streets in Berlin had been scheduled for demolition, but it remains a neighborhood eyesore.

At the Monday meeting of the Berlin Town Council, Councilman Dean Burrell wanted to know why.

“I know it won’t be burned,” Planning Director Dave Engelhart said.

Engelhart said a permit had been given to the Berlin Fire Department to burn the home on 137 Flower St., but a disagreement between the home’s heirs brought the project to a standstill. Engelhart said a “family member expressed they didn’t want it burned ‘til they were consulted.” This isn’t the first time officials expressed concern over this particular property.

Berlin Planning Commission member Phyllis Purnell mentioned it during a June 12 meeting.

Still, Burrell had issues with the state of the home.

“I’m concerned about how that property is being used,” Burrell said, because even as a vacant property it must be maintained and not left open for anyone to enter.

Engelhart acknowledged his concerns, but said the burn had been rescheduled so many times that Berlin Fire Company officials said they would no longer handle the job. That means the homeowners would need to take down the structure through demolition, he said.

Burrell said taking an aggressive approach is key in this instance.

“If the property owner fails to comply with the ordinance, I think fees need to be levied against them,” Burrell said. “[It’s] motivation to do something with that property.”

Engelhart said he would contact the property owner.

“It just can’t sit there,” Burrell said.

“I agree,” Engelhart replied.