HANSON — Hazardous material, specifically asbestos, has been found in the burnt remains of the former JJ’s pub, 16 Liberty St., Hanson. Town Administrator Michael McCue announced the findings to Selectmen at a brief Tuesday, Dec. 18, meeting. McCue has been in contact with Hanson town counsel Katherine Feodoroff and Building Commissioner Robert Curran, about to the ongoing situation.
McCue said that there was no public health hazard as the asbestos was not in the air, but that it would need to be cleaned up properly, causing costs to skyrocket from an original estimate of $14,000.
Feodoroff places a complete site cleanup at roughly $40,000 in an email to the board, which could rise due to procurement regulations, and because the debris will need to be hauled off-site for decontamination processing.
Town officials are bracing themselves to take on the full cost of a proper cleanup, as the Dec. 31 deadline for JJ’s owner Patricia Harrison, of Bourne, to erect a fence on the nuisance property approaches.
“I just want to clean the damn thing up,” said Selectman Laura FitzGerald-Kemmett.
Feodoroff states that it is not necessary for her to go to court, as Selectmen had previously requested, to further expand a court order obtained against Harrison as it is already quite expansive, quoting the order in her email:
“[S]hould the Defendant fail to satisfy [the court ordered requirements] on, or before, but in no event later than Dec. 31, 2018 then Plaintiff, Town of Hanson, may enter onto the subject Property, without the need for further action by this Honorable Court, and take any and all actions(s) reasonable and necessary to erect said fence and screening and abate the nuisance … [A]ll necessary expenses incurred by the Town shall be paid by the Defendant, and shall constitute a lien against the property … until it is paid in full,” ordered Superior Court Judge Rosemary Connolly earlier this December.
Feodoroff wants to record the order with the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds so that the order is binding on any subsequent owner of the property, she states.
Whether or not there is actually a buyer for the property is not readily apparent, according to McCue, although Harrison has asserted that she does to the town and to the Express, previously.
McCue said this has not been independently verified.
Selectman James Hickey pressed this point, visibly frustrated, asking, “Can we assume there’s no potential buyer?”
McCue noted that regardless of who pays for the cleanup, a lien on the property will mean that the town should eventually get its money back, whatever the cost.
Selectman Chairman Kenneth Mitchell said that the town must do its due diligence if it’s going to be spending so much money on the cleanup.