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Borough Demolishes Vacant House

Construction official issues demolition permit after empty building deemed unsafe.

A vacant house at 21 Kirkwood Place was demolished this week by the Borough of Caldwell.

A borough construction official issued a demolition permit after the residential building was inspected and deemed potentially dangerous, Borough Administrator Paul Carelli said Tuesday.

Carelli said the structure was "in danger of literally falling down."

The vacant house at the corner of Personette Street had become an eyesore in the neighborhood with the house abandoned and in disrepair and the overgrown yard. One resident reported seeing rodents coming from the property.

On Wednesday, an excavator was parked on the lot, which will be leveled after the foundation is removed. Clothing, a book and garbage were strewn around the property. 

The Caldwell Council authorized paying Mannino and Sons Construction for the demolition work at Tuesday night's council meeting. The $17,000 cost will become a lien on the property. The borough will recoup the cost at the tax lien sale, along with the cost of any maintenance work which may be necessary in the future.

The owners of 21 Kirkwood Place died years ago, according to Carelli. He said the estate was notified that a demolition permit had been issued, but did not respond in the allotted time.

The house had been vacant for at least five years, according to Hilda Moore. Moore lives across the street on Personette and has asked the town's governing body to address the empty house multiple times over the last year.

Moore said she was "thrilled" that the house was gone. She said she hoped the "little critters" are gone, too. 

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