2012-01-20 / News

Burned structure razing planned

Demolition on Oak St. could start today, owner says
BY DARREN FISHELL Times Record Staff

BRUNSWICK — With demolition permits in hand, the owner of a burnedout building at 16-18 Oak St. is preparing to raze the structure that neighbors have decried as a nuisance.

Codes Enforcement Officer Jeffrey Hutchinson said Wednesday that the owner, Jeffrey Matthews, secured permits from the Department of Environmental protection and the town to demolish the buildings.

On Thursday, Matthews said that he has hired Rodney Skelton and Joel Allen of Bowdoinham to complete the demolition work that could begin as early as today.

Matthews said he has no plans to rebuild on the site, where an electrical fire took down his 179-year-old apartment in April.

In October, Matthews told The Times Record that he had trouble making the decision to tear down the building that Hutchinson said is secure.

“I struggle with having to tear the building down,” Matthews said in October. “I don’t have to, but with where the economy is, a new building won’t be worth what I put into it.”

Matthews said the estimated cost for the damage to the building totaled $ 750,000, although the amount he received in insurance “is way below that.”

At Tuesday’s Brunswick Town Council meeting, a neighbor of the building expressed frustration that the demolition process took so long after the April blaze.

Neighbor DeWitt Kimball, who owns apartment buildings next door, told The Times Record in October that he was not frustrated with Matthews but with the town for not having stricter policies for dealing with damaged buildings.

“Some are frustrated with the speed but (Matthews) is going at his pace and the town doesn’t require him to move on it at all,” Kimball said.

Matthews said Thursday that demolition could begin today, Saturday, or early next week.

dfishell@timesrecord.com

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