Kittery, Maine – Approximately a month following the dilapidated Homestead Nursing Home (located on Rt. 1) was said to be torn down, David Sowerby, the owner of the building, said a few days ago that he came across asbestos problems, causing delays.
Mr. Sowerby says he is planning to finish the job this summer. However, he has not yet informed his plans to the town authorities, who ordered to demolish the building last December and the allowed an extension which expired on 27th May.
Councilor Jeff Brake says the town hasn’t heard anything from Mr. Sowerby, still the building is open to the vagrants and is rat-infested. He said somebody will get hurt.
The structure was deemed by the town council as “dangerous” under state regulations in November and December. Duncan McEachern, the town attorney, issued an order which required the removal of the structure within 2 months.
In March, Sowerby petitioned the town council successfully for a 2 months extension, claiming that the demolition was very expensive when snow was there on the ground. He got an extension up to 27th May, and the backhoes formerly seen at that site are not there now.
Sowerby says as the contractor started preparing the structure for demolition, he discovered the asbestos which halted the project. According to Sowerby, he hired an asbestos abatement company, but then he came across issues such as finding out a location to dispose of the substance.
Sowerby said now he is sending the material to the Crossroads Landfill at Norridgewock in Maine, which will add US$90000 in transportation expense alone. Sowerby said he didn’t want to calculate the demolition cost, but it will be a huge amount. He said the company hired by him for removing the dangerous mineral had to go for other works which had been scheduled in advance. According to Sowerby, the company is unable to come back to the Homestead Nursing Home site for a few more weeks.
Brake says he is planning to bring this issue up during the next meeting of the Town Council, as he feels the orders given by the town has been flaunted by Sowerby.
Asbestos is a very dangerous and highly regulated material. It can be deadly if it’s been handled improperly. Asbestos removal is a very time consuming and costly process, but it is a must prior to the demolition of any building containing the substance.