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80 Main Street in Saint John's north end. Image: City of Saint John

Saint John takes steps to repair ‘unsightly’ home

By Brad Perry May 16, 2024 | 1:40 PM

Saint John city staff will take action to fix an unsightly and dilapidated home in the city’s north end.

Council directed staff this week to clean up and repair the property at 80 Main Street.

Enforcement action is being taken under the city’s unsightly repair program, which launched last year.

It gives city staff a mechanism to address non-hazardous unsightly conditions at vacant buildings.

Benn Purinton, manager of the dangerous and vacant building program, said a notice to comply was issued for this property in April 2023.

“The conditions identified in the notice included peeling and missing paint, a dilapidated chimney, broken windows, and a structurally unsound garage at the rear of the property, among other items,” Purinton told council.

Purinton said the owner took some action in the months that followed, such as demolishing the garage, removing the chimney, fixing windows, and repairing a section of siding.

However, there is still peeling and missing paint on the house, and unsightly debris on the property.

A city staff report estimated it would cost around $6,000 to address those issues.

“Any costs associated with these repairs will be billed to the owner and later reimbursed by the province if left unpaid,” said Purinton.

Coun. Barry Ogden welcomed the action by city staff to clean up the property. The councillor said he has received a number of phone calls about this particular home.

“Every time I go there, everybody tells me there’s nobody that has lived there for a long, long time, yet the owners keep saying that they want to own it,” said Ogden.

Purinton said the current owner purchased the building in 2017. He said they intend to retire there but did not have any definitive timelines.

According to court documents, the current owner has an address listed in Toronto.

Purinton said the city also issued notices to comply on two other properties last spring. Their owners are actively working toward compliance with repairs currently ongoing, he said.

City staff hope to issue 10 notices to comply throughout 2024.