Smithtown Town officials revealed that they've spent more than $100,000 tearing down two blighted buildings - the purge will continue.
Smithtown Town Board said properties at 7 Hadley Drive and 30 Helen Avenue have been demolished in recent months after public hearings were held in January. The town board moved forward by approving a contract for the demolition of an unsafe building popularly known as the "bamboo" house on Edgewood Avenue.
The 7 Hadley Drive home had been long abandoned, becoming a vacant eyesore that was demolished at a cost of $64,975. The property's owners, Richard and Maria Collaro, will be billed for the demolition, but have not previous responded to any town correspondence.
The 30 Helen Avenue home has been empty since it partly burned down on Oct. 31, 2008. Smithtown resident Doreen Paladino ,a neighbor of the property, told town officials at the Jan. 8 hearing the house has remained empty with the fire's damaged unfixed. She said an unmaintained pool was infested with mosquitoes over the summer and the property has a raccoon infestation.
Town officials had the 30 Helen Avenue home demolished at a cost of $36,277. Its cost will be billed against the property's owners, James Chitty and Jessica Ott.
"The price difference in demolition has to do with the size and location of the two houses," said Town Attorney John Zollo.
The town's next target is 436 Edgewood Avenue in Smithtown, whose owner is listed as the Church of Gospel Ministry. Shielded from the road by towering bamboo, a small ranch house that has been left to decay in the neighborhood. Boards are rotted, trees have fallen on the house and an old motor boat sits on cinder blocks on the cracked asphalt driveway.
While the house is not officially on the town's list of blighted properties that the town has target for remediation, officials have said the Edgewood Avenue "bamboo" house is structurally unsafe and is plagued with mold and rot.