Old house de­mol­ished in Church Hill

Record Observer - - News - By JACK SHAUM jshaum@kibay­times.com

CHURCH HILL — The house that stood at 319 Main St. in Church Hill for over a cen­tur y is no more.

Work­ers from Patch­ett Ex­ca­vat­ing de­mol­ished the long-va­cant and de­te­ri­o­rat­ing build­ing on Mon­day, Aug. 15 and by the end of the day all that re­mained was a pile of rub­ble and the house’s foun­da­tion. The foun­da­tion was re­moved later and the site cleared.

The Church Hill Town Com­mis­sion­ers adopted a res­o­lu­tion in June for re­mov­ing the two-stor y home, which the town has owned since 2014. There was dis­cus­sion about pos­si­bly restoring the build­ing, but that proved im­prac­ti­cal, Com­mis­sioner Ed Raf­fetto said at the time the res­o­lu­tion was adopted. Es­ti­mates re­ceived for a restora­tion were “eco­nom­i­cally un­fea­si­ble,” he said.

The house was sold to a new owner in 1998 or 1999 and was al­ready in poor con­di­tion, and the new owner did not have the re­sources to take care of it, Raf­fetto said. The owner even­tu­ally aban­doned the prop­erty and it was taken over by a bank that “did noth­ing” with it, and the de­te­ri­o­ra­tion con­tin­ued, he said. Later, there were liens and in Au­gust 2014, the town ac­quired the house, ac­cord­ing to Raf­fetto.

At the time the com­mis­sion­ers adopted the res­o­lu­tion in June, the back side of the house was in danger of col­laps­ing, sewer pipes were al­most rusted through, and there was ex­posed lead paint. Raf­fetto called it “a danger to the health, safety, and wel­fare of any­one who goes near it.” Yel­low tape was put around the house, warn­ing peo­ple to stay away from it.

The lot on which the house stood was de­scribed as oddly shaped, mak­ing a new house un­likely. In­stead, the com­mis­sion­ers are look­ing at pos­si­bly cre­at­ing a small park­ing lot there, Com­mis­sioner Char­lie Rhodes said.

PHO­TOS BY JACK SHAUM

Heavy equip­ment was at work all day Mon­day, Aug. 15 de­mol­ish­ing the long-va­cant and de­te­ri­o­rat­ing house at 319 Main St. in Church Hill. The build­ing came down in a sin­gle day.

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