BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Abandoned homes can pose public safety and fire hazzards, can provide safe havens for drug dealers, and can lower property values of surrounding homes. That's why the Bangor City Council gave it's unanimous support Monday night to an ordinance that aims to reduce the number of abandoned buildings in the Queen City.
Under the ordinance, a home vacant for more than 60 days would need to be registered with the city of Bangor. Active Duty Military and seasonal residents would be exempt. It costs property owners $250 dollars to register the abandoned home. The home must be secured so intruders cannot enter, and so it is shielded from the weather. Fines for violating the ordinance range from $100 to $2500.
For people who live next to some of these abandoned buildings the ordinance is welcome.
Chris Foster says the home across the street from him has been vacant for decades. The overgrown trees and shrubs provide cover for transients, drug dealers, and burglars.
"The transients, the drug addicts, they find these places like over here and they camp out all summer long until it's just too cold and the leaves have all fallen," Foster said.
City officials hope the new ordinance will encourage owners of abandoned homes to consider selling them to people willing to make the needed investments.