CLARKSBURG - The town is taking a local landlord to court today after he failed to meet the deadline for an order from July to correct several building and health code violations at an apartment building he owns on Walker Street.
According to a July 17 letter signed by Building Inspector Vincent Lively, the town had received various complaints about unsafe living conditions, the storage of vehicles and outside debris at the property at 504-510 Walker St., which is owned by Charles "Rusty" Ransford.
Inspection of the building and property found code violations in the structure's four apartments, basement, south side porch, surrounding land and a storage room, the letter stated. Remedies for the violations, according to the letter, included the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, replacement of some ceiling light fixtures, connecting air conditioners to direct outlets, completing the installation of windows in a porch area, replacing the roof on a storage room, removing debris causing a fire hazard in the basement, and removing five unregistered vehicles from the property.
Lively said Wednesday that Ransford has begun work to correct the code violations, but the 30 days in which he had to complete the work according state law has expired.
A show cause hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. in Northern Berkshire District Court this morning.
Lively said that Ransford has completed about half the work needed to correct the
"I'm not sure what will be decided by the court, but more than likely, it will try to give him a little more time and set a date for the work to be completed," Lively said.
Ransford said that all the work to correct the violations has been done except replacing the roof on the storage area.
"We're just about done with everything. The violations, most of them, were caused by the tenants. There were a lot of little things," he said.
He added that he has a crew that does maintenance on his properties.
As for the yard, it's full of stuff he can't do much with because he can't steal the belongings of tenants, he said.
Lively said the inspection of the property took place after the town learned of a complaint posted on Facebook by a tenant of the building. The tenant never made any contact with the town offices or the administration, he said. "We took a look at the complaint. In the meantime, we had gotten a call from another tenant," he said.
The Selectmen were informed of the situation by Town Administrator Thomas Webb at the board's meeting Wednesday night.
Also at that meeting, the Selectmen unanimously approved the appointment of Kelly Wilson as a part-time police officer for the town.
The board also listened to a presentation by Clark Rowell, of Unibank, about ways the town could save money through refinancing its debt. The Selectmen agreed to take the suggestions under advisement.
To reach Meghan Foley, email firstname.lastname@example.org.