Saturday, December 7, 2013
WILTON — Town officials are pursuing civil action against the imprisoned property owner of the former Forster Mill, after a year of frustration from the owner's inaction.
Asbestos-laden debris is seen inside the former Forster Mill in Wilton in 2011.
Maine Department of Environmental Protection photo
Staff Photo by John Ewing, Thursday, May 4, 2000: State Representative Adam Mack, from Standish.
The town is in the process of declaring the property a dangerous property according to Maine statute and are hoping the declaration will lead to an order of demolition from Franklin County Superior Court, according to Town Manager Rhonda Irish.
Irish told the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday that the town is still in the process of declaring the property dangerous and town attorney Lee Bragg is working on it.
Dale Holman, who was hired by owner Adam Mack to act as a liason, renewed talks three months ago about restarting demolition, but Mack had insufficient money to demolish the building and never applied for a demolition permit.
Holman did not return calls for comment.
Selectmen voted to start the civil process in mid-July after expressing frustration about a year of no progress from Mack.
Mack, who is a former Republican state representative for Standish, is serving a six-month federal sentence after having pleaded guilty in U.S District Court in Portland in October to misusing federal money.
Demolition of the mill was halted in July 2011 when workers alerted federal officials to what was described by one official as the worst case of asbestos in the state in 30 years.
The company was cited for violating federal regulations while improperly removing pipes with asbestos.
More than three-fourths of the demolition of the building still needs to be done. Holman said previously that he was hoping to recoup part of the cost of demolition, estimated to be from $250,000 to $350,000, through sale of copper and metal from the building, but he later learned the building had been stripped of all valuable metal during the botched 2011 demolition.
The boiler room still contains asbestos, so future construction workers would need DEP permission to quarantine that part of the building so they could start construction elsewhere while finding qualified personnel to handle the boiler room cleanup. The rest of the asbestos was removed in September.
Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252