Blighted property collapses in Kulpmont
KULPMONT - Borough officials are giving the owners of a Poplar Street property 48 hours to clean up the debris left behind when the wall and window of an abandoned modular home collapsed onto the lawn Monday afternoon.
Failure to do so will result in citations, said Code Enforcement Officer Russ Moroz.
Meanwhile, a wall of plywood will be placed around the blighted property of 1121 Poplar St. this morning to prevent anyone from coming onto the lot and injuring themselves, he said.
The house, which is believed to be owned by the children or grandchildren of the late Rita Zdan, has been vacant for at least 15 years, said neighbors.
Now, said Mike Eggen, of 1126 Poplar St., "All hell broke loose. Maybe it's about time. No one wants to do anything about it."
Eggen, who lives directly across the street from the property, was the one who alerted police and borough officials to the partial collapse Monday at 4 p.m.
In fact, he was the one who prompted the code enforcement officer to place an orange fence and police tape around the property earlier this year when the siding started sagging off the structure.
"It's been going on a long time. It's a public safety issue," he said.
Eggen said he was worried for the safety of the local children, pointing out at least a dozen watching the borough officials and fire fighters investigate the scene among the crowd of residents gathered on the sidewalk.
Pieces of rotted wood and siding were laying on the grass in front of the modular home, leaving a hole in the side of the building. Inside, a large appliance and a painting of Jesus hanging on the wall could be seen.
Moroz said the property has been up for judicial sale several times, but the owners would pay the back taxes in order to avoid losing it.
Moroz was joined by Mayor Myron Turlis and Police Chief Richard Wilson III at the scene.
"It's getting worse. The owners obviously doesn't want to work with us," Turlis said.
Other than securing the perimeter and fining the owners, Turlis said they will consult with the Northumberland County Blight Task Force to see if any funds are available for the borough to use.
The blighted property is a top priority, he said.