SALEM, N.H. — Despite the fact of a promised cleanup, the bank that owns 45 Maclarnon Road has not cleaned up the property. Boxes of printers and other debris fill the back yard and the grass is overgrown with a few kids' scooters in the front yard.
The unnamed bank that foreclosed on the property hired First Allegiance Property Management to clean it up, according to the Health Officer Brian Lockard. Instead the property was sold at auction to an unnamed builder.
The paperwork on the sale naming the builder has not been filed, according to the town's Assessing Department. The property is still listed under previous owner Michael Bate’s name.
According to Health Officer Brian Lockard, the builder has promised to clean up the property.
“He said he will clean it up once the sale is finalized, which takes about 30 days, he said,” according to Lockard.
"I will continue to monitor the site, and we will work to clean it up," he added.
Residents of Maclarnon Road are worried about the potential health hazard posed by the debris, neighbor Clark Delaney previously told The Eagle-Tribune. Delaney and others on his street have talked to the Board of Selectmen and and other officials to voice their concerns over the past year.
The house has been a contentious issue in the town. For more than a year, neighbors have been complaining about the hundreds of printers and boxes piled in the back yard.
The town took Bates to court to clean it up, spending $4,642 on legal fees according to Town Manager Chris Dillon.
The town won a court order to compel Bates to dispose of the debris. According to the ruling, if Bates did not follow through, the town could clean up the yard and place a lien on the property to recoup costs.
However, the ruling was complicated by the impending foreclosure, according to town officials.
The selectmen were concerned about spending the estimated $13,000 to clean up the property if they could not be repaid by placing a lien on it.
The court order does not transfer to a new owner. The town would have to have to start the legal process again to get the property cleaned.
Bates previously told The Eagle-Tribune that the printers came from his recycling business, which abruptly folded. He also said he could not afford to clean up the printers because his money was tied up in his ongoing divorce.
In April, Bates, 44, was convicted of one count of securities fraud. He was accused of defrauding someone out of $50,000 for an investment, according to court documents. In June he was sentenced to serve one year in prison with potentially six months of that sentence suspended for two years for good behavior, Deputy County Attorney Jennifer Haggar said.