WATERTOWN — The city has started legal action against the owners of two Factory Street area properties in an attempt to have the owners clean up their sites.

State Supreme Court action has been taken against 129 Factory Square LLC, owner of 129 Factory Square, and Ricky Frazier, owner of 413 Factory St.

The city filed suit against 129 Factory Square in April after city firefighters were performing exercises on a ladder truck and noticed that the roof of 135 Fairbanks St. had collapsed. The city’s Code Enforcement Bureau determined the four-story building was unsafe and condemned it.

The owner obtained a report on the building from Annette M. Mason, a structural engineer with Aubertine & Currier, Watertown, which confirmed that half the roof’s framing had collapsed and that some of the framing had collapsed onto lower floors. Ms. Mason concluded that building’s brick walls remained in good condition and recommended that, with work, “the building could be made sound and usable.”

In its suit, the city asks that a judge either order 129 Factory Square LLC to make the needed repairs or, if not, that the city be allowed to demolish the building and the company be responsible for reimbursing the city for demolition costs.

An answer to the complaint filed by 129 Factory Square, which does not identify any officers of the company, states “the LLC has no money for repairs or demolition, and has not had for a long time.”

“There has been several parties who have looked at the building and expressed interest in reconstruction,” the answer states. “This building is currently available for $1, additional costs and closing costs. So far no deals have come to fruition.”

The answer notes that the building was constructed in 1850 as a bakery and “eventually became Nabisco Company.” A fence has been erected around the site to secure it.

In a separate action, the city filed suit Thursday against Mr. Frazier claiming that there are “numerous unregistered and unlicensed vehicles and equipment that are in various states of deterioration around the exterior of the subject property” at 413 Factory St., the long-time site of Claude’s Transmission. The city claims this violates its code pertaining to junked or abandoned vehicles. It further claims that there is refuse on the property that is a nuisance because it can attract vermin.

The city is asking that judge order Mr. Frazier to clean up the property. Should he not do so, the city is asking that it be reimbursed for doing so, as well as an additional $3,000 as an administrative surcharge. Mr. Frazier had not answered the complaint as of Friday.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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