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Woodland ponders debris removal

WOODLAND – Whether or not to use taxpayer money to clean up personal property.

This was the dilemma the Woodland Town Commissioners faced Thursday night.

Citizen Pat Liverman appeared before the Board asking them to consider clearing debris off a property located on Main Street. The house on the property burned recently and the debris remains.

Woodland Maintenance Director Robbie Collier said the cost of removing the debris would be the $45 per ton charged by the landfill as well as the time of the town staff. He said the only time in his memory the town had cleared land is when it was condemned and deeded to the town.

Mayor Margaret Burgwyn said it wasn’t the first time the town was asked to clear property, but reiterated that every time the town had done so, it was deeded to the municipality.

Liverman said the property owner was concerned about the hazard and appearance, but didn’t have the money to clear it.

Commissioner Les Clark said the town would be required to pay the same $45 per ton as a private property owner and Burgwyn added clearing the property would take a lot of time and equipment.

&uot;I’m not sure we have the staff to do it,&uot; she said.

Clark said he was concerned about &uot;setting a precedent&uot; by using taxpayer money to clear the private property.

He said he realized the town just completed a massive cleanup week, but it was a month ago.

&uot;It’s one month now, what if someone comes and says it’s only two months,&uot; he said.

Burgwyn said the town had authorized Northampton County to proceed with the condemnation process on the property.

Commissioner Beth Phillips said the Board approved allowing the condemnation process after they were informed the county had received five complaints on the property.

&uot;It’s in the hands of the county now,&uot; the mayor said.