AUGUSTA — A Northern Avenue property the city acquired for nonpayment of taxes after a damaging fire there two years ago could become a family’s home and return to the tax rolls.

City councilors meet Thursday to consider accepting an offer of $4,000 from a neighbor to buy 110 Northern Ave. and turn the former apartment building into a home for his growing family.

“I want to rehab the house and live in it,” said Roger Mackbach, of Augusta, a senior at the University of Maine at Augusta and founder of Help for Others, an organization that helps people overcome adversity. “I’m hoping to turn it into a big one-family home.”

Councilors are scheduled to consider authorizing the sale of the property at their 6:30 p.m. meeting Thursday.

Mackbach said if councilors agree to sell him the home, it will become home for himself, his teenage son, a 3-month-old baby, his fiancee and her three children.

The city has owned the property since February 2015, when it took it for nonpayment of taxes, according to Ralph St. Pierre, finance director and assistant city manager.

The city tried to give the property to the Augusta Housing Authority, which declined it. The city also tried selling it at a public auction but received no bids. And the city held a sealed bid process that also drew no bidders.

The 0.46-acre property is assessed by the city, for tax purposes, at $62,900.

The city had a structurally deficient barn on the property torn down after it foreclosed upon the property. The small barn that was attached to the home, which at the time was a two-unit apartment building housing five residents, was damaged by fire in 2014, and the tenants were ordered out of the apartment building out of concern the barn could have collapsed. The city paid $8,900 to have the barn demolished, according to minutes of the city’s Real Estate Owned Committee, which decides what to do with properties acquired by the city, usually for nonpayment of taxes.

The committee recommends the city take Mackbach’s offer, contingent on conditions including building renovations beginning within six months of purchase, issuance of a certificate of occupancy within 18 months, development of no additional parking on the property, and the buyer showing proof of financial ability to complete the project. If any of those conditions aren’t met, the property would revert to the city’s ownership.

Mackbach said his goal is to move into the building even before the city’s 18-month timeline lapses.

“I plan on moving in, with a certificate of occupancy, within two months,” he said. “I’m highly motivated to make this habitable and I have the means and ability, and I’m OK with all” of the city’s requirements.

He said the inside of the house “isn’t that bad.” He said it will need three exterior walls redone, where the barn was torn off, and he plans to do that renovation up to city codes and follow the recommendations of Rob Overton, a city code enforcement officer.

He said he’s been looking for a home to own in Augusta for about six years and is excited about investing in something for his family’s future.

Mackbach said he is not working but has expertise in renovating a home and has family members and people for whom he has done computer work who he anticipates will help with the project.

Councilors are also scheduled to:

• Hold the first reading, of two required votes, on a proposed permanent bedbug ordinance;

• Consider authorizing City Manager William Bridgeo to list for sale, with a local real estate agent, tax-acquired properties at 5 Mayflower Road and 6 Amanda Lane;

• Meet in a closed-door session to discuss pending litigation; and

• Consider changes to parking rules on Arsenal Street.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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