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 theĀ  property to be sold as a building lot.

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

Dean Soucy February 27, 2013 at 01:24 PM
Don't believe everything you read about the cost of raising this home the bank had liens on the property which will mean that the property will never be sold . The town will never get their money. I personally made an offer to purchase the property until this day have never been taken seriously. If we start taking this home down what about all the others that have been destroyed from the storms in years past. It is the owner's responsibility to take care of this problem not the towns
Thomas Dziewa February 27, 2013 at 02:21 PM
this is not the only house that has bad foundations in the neighborhood, the same company ruined a number of foundations by apparently mixing new batches of concrete with old batches that were already curing. The resident on 828 old stafford road just had to complete an expensive project to lift his house and replace the foundation. Its a shame that that company didnt think about their clients first.
Long time resident February 27, 2013 at 06:17 PM
If it was the town's responsibility to demolish this home due to safety issues, it should have bit the bullet and done it long ago, instead of incurring the additional expense of litigation. If it isn't the town's duty, then it shouldn't do it. By doing so, it is creating a very bad precedent. As the comment states above, its not the only house with a bad foundation. I also find it interesting how the article attempts to create this warm and fuzzy relationship between the Buchs' and the town. It would appear from public record, this lawsuit was the last thing the Buchs' needed thrown at them. Way to go, town council.
Dean Soucy February 27, 2013 at 07:03 PM
That isn't actually the case with the concrete but I am an expert witness in the court cases for method and cost of repairs, either way the concrete is still defected and it's a long term decay of the concrete.people should know that there's hundreds of home in the area that will need the same repair and the tax payers shouldn't be paying for this. The town of tolland will be tied up in this lot for years to come since the bank still has liens on it.
Long time resident February 27, 2013 at 07:16 PM
I also believe that the intent with the suit was to get the bank to pay for the demolishing since it was foreclosing on the property. Not for the bank to walk away from the property so we would have the priviledge of footing the bill for razing the house! Don't believe all that you read, this doesn't compute and its at our expense.
Long time resident February 27, 2013 at 07:53 PM
Interesting there isn't a single reference to the lawsuit the town filed against the Buchs' which is still an active matter with a scheduled trial date. More creative writing than factual representations.
Deb Willet February 28, 2013 at 01:05 AM
I too live next to an abandoned house in Tolland. The owners pretty much put some things in the car and drove away. The house has the front windows broken and is open to the elements, animals and anyone else who would want entry. It is wet and full of mold and probably should be condemned and torn down. A lot of the owner's belongings still remain in the house. The town says it's still in the owner's name but they "have nobody to go after". So, what is a concerned neighbor to do about such a dangerous eyesore? Thought I'd ask since we're on the subject.
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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