Bath council rescinds 'dangerous building' order

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BATH — The City Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to rescind a December 2012 order that had declared a 45 Windjammer Way house dangerous.

Repairs made to their home by volunteers have allowed Alan and Yvonne Orchard to avoid eviction by the city. Code Enforcement Officer Scott Davis, who had once considered the house a hazard to the residents, changed his mind after he and a structural engineer reviewed repairs made by a volunteer, Russell DuPree of Freeport, with help from several Bath Iron Works employees.

Davis said last month that the work – such as patching a hole in the roof and blocking and shoring underneath the building – improved the house “to the point where we don’t feel it’s in danger of collapsing. So we … withdrew our request … for a court order ordering them to leave.”

Yvonne Orchard said Tuesday that she and her husband plan to say put for now, but that they are looking for other housing options. She expressed relief about the city’s change in position.

In other business, the City Council unanimously supported a resolution favoring an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would would overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in the case of Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission.

The court decision blocks the government from restricting independent campaign spending from entities such as unions and corporations.

The amendment, the wording of which the council slightly changed, would “firmly establish that money is not free speech and that human beings, not other entities such as corporations, are persons entitled to Constitutional rights,” according to the resolution.

The council chambers were filled with community members who supported the resolution, and councilors Leverett Mitchell and Steve Brackett were among those who said they had received several comments from people in favor of it.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.