'It's an eyesore': Safety concerns raised over derelict Cape Breton home
Published Friday, May 19, 2017 12:57PM ADT
Last Updated Friday, May 19, 2017 1:19PM ADT
Most Maritime communities are home to some unsightly and derelict buildings, but one property in Reserve Mines, N.S. is in such bad shape, those living nearby say they’re worried about their safety.
“It’s been vacant for a long time. It’s an eyesore, and it’s very dangerous, lots of kids around,” says Dwaine Hill of the rundown home and its junk-filled yard. “I think it should be taken care of immediately due to the hazards.”
However, Coun. Darren Bruckschwaiger says it’s not that simple, as the Cape Breton Regional Municipality is dealing with hundreds of similar properties.
“Huge problem, the cost associated with demolition,” says Bruckschwaiger. “When you have people that walk away from their properties basically and just let it go for taxes, it’s a big issue for us. You know, one of these buildings can cost you up to $7,000 to get rid of.”
Hill says the homeowner passed away several years ago. Now, the property is filled with old sheds, trailers and piles of junk.
Bruckschwaiger hopes the CBRM will soon issue a 30-day notice to either repair or demolish the home.
If a homeowner doesn’t take responsibility for his or her property, the bill is left with the municipality and the taxpayers. Each building is placed on a priority list, with the worst property taking the top spot.
“First thing is, is what they do is, make sure if there’s something on the property that is dangerous, as this one is, they usually put that order out right away,” says Bruckschwaiger.
He says it could take months or even years to have an abandoned property cleaned up because it’s simply too expensive.
Hill hopes something will be done soon about the property in his neighbourhood.
“You look out your front window and this is what you see. I pay property taxes,” says Hill. “The whole street is complaining about, you know, you’re paying property taxes, and this is what you have to look at every day.”
The municipality says it will clean up the garbage around the property, but the process of either repairing or demolishing the home has yet to be finalized.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kyle Moore