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Berlin goes to court over blighted property

Berlin goes to court over blighted property

reporter photo

BERLIN — Mounting complaints from neighbors have led the town to seek an injunction against a New Britain man whose property has remained vacant and in disrepair for years.

“The place is potentially’s overgrown and the neighbors have reported rats,” said Mayor Mark Kaczynski, who said complaints go back nearly ten years. “It’s been an ongoing blight problem. And somewhere back in history, before my time, the town had started to take some action but it never was completed.”

A complaint describe’s Raymond Szajkowski’s property at 77 Elton Road as being in violation of the town’s blight ordinance due to detached gutters, abandoned boats, vehicles and a trailer, overgrown grass, fencing in dilapidated condition and “numerous abandoned accessory structures in a state of disrepair.”

The lawsuit requests an injunction to allow the town to clean and make repairs, including boarding up windows and doors.

While the documents state that he has been served with notice of the lawsuit against him, Szajkowski said he is unaware of the status of the injunction and could not give further information about the case.

Town Manager Jack Healy said the suit requests that a lien be placed upon the house to cover the cost of the maintenance. The town is already fining Szajkowski $100 for every day the property remains in violation of the town’s blight ordinance, an amount which exceeds $15,000 as of Oct. 3.

“We felt at this point since there was no response...this was our next available avenue,” Healy said.

Aside from one call to Town Hall, Kaczynski and Healy said Szajkowski has been unresponsive to fines, the lawsuit and attempts to reach him. 

Kaczynski said Szajkowski is up to date on his taxes and the land could be valuable given its location. According to the town’s property listing report, the land and buildings are appraised at around $250,000.
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