Frankford improvement effort hits legal snag

In an attempt to locate and improve uninhabitable dwellings in Frankford, town council members have found themselves stalled.

Assistant Town Solicitor Rob Robertson stated to council on Monday, Oct. 2, in a letter signed by Town Solicitor Dennis Schrader, that the method used in the Fire Hazard Inspection Committee’s selection of houses would not hold up in a court of law.

Council Member Maynard Esender said there should be no reason why they are unable to obtain a letter from their attorney to begin action to improving these sites. Esender said the dilapidated buildings are a serious hazard to life and property, as well as a public nuisance to other town members.

“These houses are hurting the value of the neighbors’ property around them,” said Esender.

Town Clerk Terry Truitt said the neglected properties needed to be handled as a case-by-case issue and not as a cluster. “Each scenario is unique,” she said.

The attorneys said the town “cannot be judge and jury.” Without the attorney present to explain matters further, it was implied that letters of complaint were needed in order to then have the Fire Hazard Inspection Committee begin taking action against the properties in accordance with the related town ordinance.

Upcoming meetings and events in Frankford:

• A Neighborhood Watch meeting will be held at Frankford Volunteer Fire Company at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12.

• There will be a Board of Adjustments meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the town hall at 7 p.m.

• A Halloween parade will begin at noon at the town hall with a Fall Festival following, on Saturday, Oct. 28. Trick-or-treating is to be held Saturday, Oct. 28, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the town.

• A hearing for Clayton Avenue land use, set at the town hall, has been rescheduled for Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m.

• A Comprehensive Development Plan meeting will be held in the Frankford Volunteer Fire Company, also Oct. 30, at 7 p.m.