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Wrangell Avenue home razed; case remains under advisement


Though the case is still under advisement with a judge, the building at 1011 Wrangell Avenue owned by Karen Ellingstad and Fred Triem has been taken down.

“The building is down. We’re still in the process of cleaning up,” Ellingstad said in a phone interview this week. “We’re not done cleaning up everything. It’s not done done, but the house is down.”

She added that work on dismantling the building has been done in stages since late August of this year.

“It’s a long process,” she said. The owner’s have salvaged many of the materials from the building in the process of dismantling.

The building and it’s dismantling have been the subject of contention between the homeowners and the Borough since Leo Luczak, then-Community Development director, sent notice in June 2012 to the building’s owners that it had been deemed a “dangerous building.”

Since then there have been a series of events between the homeowners and Borough officials ending in an appeal in Superior Court. The Borough has argued that the house posed a danger, while Triem has argued that due process was not followed by the Borough.

In December of last year, a non-compliance hearing was held and the Borough assembly voted to issue a 30-day order to Ellingstad and Triem to repair or demolish the building.

Triem filed an appeal of that order in Superior Court against the Borough in January 2014 when he also filed for a stay of demolition to prevent the Borough from razing the building.

This was followed shortly by Borough attorney James Brennan filing an opposition to Triem’s motion for a stay of demolition.

Superior Court Judge Phillip Michael Pallenberg heard testimony from both sides and has taken the case under advisement.

Borough Manager Steve Giesbrecht’s most recent mention of the building was at the last regular assembly meeting held Oct. 20. He mentioned that the homeowners had begun dismantling the roof and a portion of the front wall in September and that they were still waiting for a ruling from the judge.

Ellingstad said she did not wish to comment on the court proceedings at this time and that she wasn’t sure what she and Triem would do with the plot in the future.

When asked why she decided to take the structure down at this time she replied, “It was just a decision we made based on cost-benefit. It was always there to be the decision. We just hadn’t made it yet when the hearing was held.”


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