Following this week, Donna Clifford’s property at the corner of Sutton Boulevard and Flora Avenue should finally be ready for new house construction.
Her home was destroyed by fire in January. The demolition contractor Middleton Carouthers, working as The Wrecking Crew, who she hired April, is being accused of not finishing the job.
Clifford has a buyer, but the sale couldn’t happen until the lot was cleaned up, including asbestos abatement. She hired a new demolition company to finish the job. The work started on Friday.
“She’s taken 100 percent responsibility for it, and we’re very happy about it,” Maplewood Director of Public Works Anthony Traxler said. He said it should be clean and returned to its original grade by Friday.
The potential buyer has waited it out.
“I talked to the potential purchaser last week about it,” Traxler said. “She still wants to purchase the property, so hopefully we can get a house build there soon.”
The completion of the work takes it off the city’s plate, but the original demolition contractor, Carouthers, still has a trial date in Maplewood on Aug. 20 for accusations of not finishing the job.
He pleaded not guilty in a hearing on July 9.
“The site was a public nuisance,” Traxler said. “He left the site in disarray.” He said Carouthers’ fine will be up to the judge.
“It should have been a week-long process,” he said. “Unfortunately the residents had to look at that for so long. We’re happy that Mrs. Clifford did get another contractor.”
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