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Town to Oversee Demolition of Barbara Road House

Neighbors thanked town officials for getting involved.

The motion on the floor of Tuesday's Tolland Town Council meeting seemed simple enough.

The town would oversee the demolition of a rundown home at 46 Barbara Rd. and place a lien on the property to protect the cost of that demolition.

But the applause from residents of the neighborhood right after the unanimous vote hinted at a deeper significance. Indeed, the tale of the home is one of sadness but at the same time a neighborhood that has rallied together.

Neighbors at the meeting thanked council members for at least setting a plan in place, ending a four-year saga.

Problems with the home, 3,058-square-foot contemporary, but built in 1988 and owned by Kenneth and Judy Buch, go back close to a decade, neighbors said. Judy is a ventriloquist who travels to area towns for shows for kids and corporations.

One neighbor at the council meeting called the home, "a beautiful house on a perfect lot owned by loving people." Traffic on the street was low and woods abutted the neighborhood in the back.

It was location, location, location.

Then, paradise was lost when cracks were found in the foundation during an inspection for a potential sale, according to neighbors. Neighbors said it was a "bad mix" of concrete by a company from Stafford that is no longer in business.

The condition of the home steadily deteriorated and the Buches were forced to move out. They were not at Tuesday's meeting.

Neighbors told the council the situation had become, "a safety concern."

Neighbors said they did not blame the Buches, but instead rallied with them to put pressure on the bank and the bank eventually relinquished its interest.

The town then jumped in. The cost estimate for demolition is between $20,000 and $30,000, Town Manager Steven Werbner said.

The plan is to have the house razed in the spring and clear the way for the  property to be sold as a building lot.

According to the assessor's map, the land measures 1.48 acres.

Long time resident February 28, 2013 at 01:57 AM
Sounds like you shpuld go to the town council and ask them to bank roll the effort to get the place cleaned up. At least that has appeared to work in this case. I don't blame you at all for not wanting the house there and I don't blame the neighbors on Barbara for not wanting it either - but do you think the town as a whole should be responsible for cleaning it up?
Deb Willet February 28, 2013 at 03:37 AM
no, I don't think people should be allowed to up and leave a house to rot and expect the town to clean up after them. I personally don't want my tax dollars going to clean up after my neighbors. The Barbara La house is a different story because it was not directly caused by something the homeowner did. I still don't think the town should hat to pay for demolition tho.
th February 28, 2013 at 05:32 AM
I'm not sure I understand. Why is the Town even involved in this. They can demolish any property that has back taxes or is unoccupied? What about the bank and mortgage?
Long time resident February 28, 2013 at 01:34 PM
All questions you will never get answers to. I think this outcome is more about the "persuasiveness" of the neighbors. Lets see what happens the next time a group of neighbors approaches the council with the same kind of issue. It will be interesting to hear the distinctions that will be put forth to explain why this was different and warranted a different outcome. Time will tell, since there are a lot of abandoned properties round town.
Clyde Smith March 01, 2013 at 03:07 PM
Is the name of the concrete supplier, J.J. Mottes from Stafford Springs? This is important to the many homeowners who will soon find out that their homeowners insurance will probably not cover the necessary repairs.

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