Owner of run-down home given ultimatum

South Bethlehem eyesore must be cleaned up within the month

— “The floods took out half of the garage,” he said, adding that when he bought the home the Army Corps on Engineers told him there was a one-hundredth of a chance the creek would flood.

“I started to tear down part of it after the (flooding) happened but it was difficult to do myself and I didn’t have the money to finish,” he said.

Albertine said he visited the property regularly and didn’t notice anything amiss with the house until after the flooding. In October he called the police because it looked as if the home had been “ransacked.” Things in the home had been moved around and some windows were broken, but few items had been stolen.

“There was a lot of damage, but I don’t believe it was kids,” he said. “I think they are being blamed. The kids in the neighborhood are good kids and it looked to be older people.”

Albertine said trophies and china in a hutch downstairs had not been touched. He believes kids would find the objects too tempting to break or play with.

Albertine said one of the main complaints about the building was that younger people were using the home to “party.” He thought it unfortunate that if residents saw people within the home they didn’t call the police on his behalf to protect his property and the people inside. “They have a civic obligation,” he said.

“But I don’t blame the neighbors for complaining, things just got out of hand,” Albertine said. “I’ll take responsibility because it does look (bad)… but so do some of the other properties in the neighborhood.”

Bouchard said he hopes the town and owner can come to a final resolution.

“We’ve been here before several times and in the past nothing got done,” he said. “We’ll see what happens this time.”

The parties are scheduled to be back in court on May 22.

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