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Sunday, May 20, 2012

City of Salisbury to try again to demolish Thrift Travel Inn

The City of Salisbury will once again try to demolish the condemned Thrift Travel Inn.
The city has considered the inn on North Salisbury Boulevard to be a public nuisance for the last several years. According to the city’s Department of Neighborhood Services and Code Compliance, police officers, firefighters and code compliance officers have had to make over 1,500 visits to the property because it’s fallen into such disrepair.
A demolition order was issued last year. However, the possibility of the property being confiscated by the federal government, or being sold by the owner, as well as a lack of funding, all delayed the demolition. Mayor Jim Ireton is expected to submit an amendment to the city’s budget for $60,000 to pay for the demolition.
City Again to Pursue Demolition of Thrift Travel Inn
The City of Salisbury has long considered 601 – 603 North Salisbury Boulevard, also known as the Thrift Travel Inn, to be a public nuisance. The Neighborhood Task Force has been tracking the property since 2007 and since that time more than 1500 calls for service required visits by police, fire and code compliance responders. Those repeated calls for service placed an unnecessary burden on our public safety officials and obstructed service to other areas of the city.
Due to lack of maintenance, disrepair and ongoing life safety violations the structure was eventually condemned and ordered vacated. After the owner failed to bring the property into compliance a demolition order was issued. The demolition order was ignored and as a result a municipal infraction was issued. That municipal infraction was prosecuted on December 5, 2011 and a Wicomico County District Court Judge ruled in favor of the city.
After a guilty verdict was issued the city delayed execution of demolition order for several reasons. One, it was believed that the property would be seized by the federal government; that confiscation never occurred. Two, it appeared that the property would transfer ownership; however to date ownership has not changed. And thirdly, the Fiscal Year 2012 budget did not include funds for demolition.
Given the circumstances surrounding the delay in executing the order, the Legal Department of the City has suggested that a second demolition order be provided. Today the Department Neighborhood Services & Code Compliance (NSCC) reissued that order to remove the structure within 60 (sixty) days.
Director of Neighborhood Services & Code Compliance, Tom Stevenson estimates that it will cost somewhere between forty to sixty thousand dollars ($40,000.00 – $60,000.00) to tear the building down. Director Stevenson said “as Salisbury’s Housing Official I have a responsibility to citizens and the mayor to report this opportunity to remove this blighting influence once and for all”.
Mayor Jim Ireton will advance a budget amendment to the Salisbury City Council seeking sixty thousand dollars (60,000.00 dollars) to proceed with the demolition. The City’s cost for the demolition will become a lien against the property and collected when the property is sold or transferred.

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