Wilton officials and the owner of the Forster Mill will sit down with a mediator by early fall in an effort to resolve a lawsuit that seeks to force Adam Mack to demolish his building.

The town has sued Mack, a former state legislator, in an effort to force him to demolish the dilapidated building. Selectmen have said the building, which is in the heart of downtown, is dangerous and unsightly.

Town Manager Rhonda Irish said the town attorney and Mack’s lawyer are set to go into mediation Sept. 19 or 22.

The town has hired a consultant to inspect the building as part of its case. The consultant’s preliminary report stated the building was dangerous and that there was not a lot of salvage value, Irish told members of the Wilton Board of Selectmen on Tuesday night.

She said both attorneys have been told that police found trespassers on the property in recent months, raising fears that trespassers could injure themselves on the Depot Street property.

Mack previously said he would sell metal from the building to help pay for the demolition, which he estimated would cost $250,000 to $350,000. A consultant for the town, however, said all valuable metal was stripped from the structure during a botched demolition effort in 2011.

The 2011 demolition was stopped after workers reported improper removal of asbestos from the building. No one had inspected the mill site for the presence of asbestos before demolition work began, a violation of Department of Environmental Protection rules. While cleaning up the remaining mess, an asbestos removal expert called it the worst asbestos site he has seen in Maine in 30 years.

Before the workers doing the demolition work reported the violations, Downeast Construction, owned by Ryan Byther, removed and sold piping worth an estimated $250,000 from the site, leading the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to levy $154,200 in fines earlier this year. Byther’s company was removed from the project.

In November 2012, Mack’s company, Wilton Recycling, was ordered to pay a $7,500 penalty to the state for the company’s role the in the asbestos hazard to employees.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

[email protected]


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