SKOWHEGAN — A District Court judge has given Robert Dale another month to finish cleaning up the antique store he owns on U.S. Route 201 in Fairfield amid signs that a years-long dispute with the town over junk on his property might soon be settled.

In a court hearing that lasted less than five minutes Monday morning, Fairfield’s attorney, Bill Lee, said Dale had made “significant progress” since Thursday in resolving fire safety violations and asked for the case to be continued for 30 days.

“He’s getting quite close, but he’s not quite there,” Lee said.

The town has been trying for more than two years to get Dale to clean up his property, Maine 201 Antiques, to comply with Fairfield’s land use ordinance and fire safety codes. The town took the case to court and has been awarded almost $29,000 in fines and fees. Dale has risked jail time for delays in the cleanup.

Maine 201 Antiques was for years a clutter of furniture, farming tools, vehicles, miscellaneous glass, metal and wooden objects. The condition of the property led a court in 2014 to determine it was an illegal junkyard.

Starting six months ago, however, Dale started a serious cleanup effort, moving most of the items into several large truck containers and resolving fire safety issues. The town’s fire department allowed him to reopen the business earlier this year.

In an order filed in June, Judge Andrew Benson described Dale’s efforts to bring the property into compliance as “herculean” and said Dale had made “extraordinary progress” in bringing the property up to code.

But despite the progress, the town was still finding violations as late as last Thursday, Lee said in court Monday. The fire department identified safety code violations like partially blocked exits, but the violations were fixed by Monday morning, he said.

In an interview outside the courtroom, Fairfield Code Enforcement Officer Nicole Martin said that Dale has also removed items from the rear of his property and has installed privacy fencing on the property line with his abutter — all steps that the town asked him to address in June.

Also in June, the city of Hallowell filed suit against Dale, a downtown business owner there as well, to clean up junk around and atop his Water Street building and face fines for leaving it there. Dale has been cited for numerous problems in Hallowell dating back to the 1990s.

Along with cleaning up the property in Fairfield, Dale has paid to date more than $3,000 toward the fines he owes the town, Lee said.

At that court hearing two months ago, Dale said the cleanup had cost him $15,000, much of which he had borrowed from his family. Both the town and Dale seem to hope that the matter is close to resolution.

“He’s 99 percent there,” Dale’s attorney, Walter McKee, said in an interview outside the courtroom. “It has been a monumental project because of the significant amount of items.”

McKee said his client needed the additional 30 days to complete the last 1 percent.

“Hopefully it will be done in September, and we won’t have to come back to court,” McKee said.

Peter McGuire — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: PeteL_McGuire

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