Aug. 5—ENFIELD — The town has taken action against the owners of the Enfield Square Mall after they had failed to comply with repairs needed following a partial ceiling collapse in April on the south side of the former Macy's building.
The town has put a lien on the property for $43,300 to recoup the costs taken on by demolishing, removing, and disposing of the wooden roof structure, which had become a public safety hazard.
Contractors that Enfield hired finished the demolition work and put up a firewall on Thursday.
The lien, which owner Nambar Realty Group will have to pay should it ever try to sell the property, comes after several months when Town Manager Ellen Zoppo-Sassu tried to reach officials at the New York-based investment company, but to no avail.
She sent a written notice of violation when the ceiling came down on April 16, which disarmed the fire suppression system and required the Thompsonville Fire Department to respond to the scene.
She also called April 16 and again on July 22, but never heard back from anyone at Nambar Realty Group.
Zoppo-Sassu said she received a call from the company owner and his lawyer on Wednesday. However, the town had already started the demolition work and she said that at this point, when matters have become adversarial, she'd prefer to respond in writing.
In addition to the demolition work, the utilities at the building have been disconnected and Fire Marshal Scott Ellis has compiled a unit-by-unit analysis of required abatements that will be delivered to Namdar Realty Group representatives.
Zoppo-Sassu stressed that the town's remedial work will not affect the rest of the mall and the tenants' ability to operate.
The town attorney is monitoring the situation, and Connecticut General Statutes on hazardous conditions gives Raymond S Steadward Jr., Enfield's building inspector, emergency powers, she said.
Should Namdar Realty Group ignore required abatements for the public's safety, Zoppo-Sassu said the town may take additional action. "We could have had the mall shut down, which I didn't want to do," she said. "But if the owners continue to have disregard for public safety, it's an option."
Mayor Bob Cressotti said he is very disappointed. "I expect more from this mall ownership, especially since we have been working with the Capital Region Council of Governments to do a traffic impact study to assist the mall owners in the future direction of what can happen there to reinvigorate the area," he said.
For more coverage of Somers and Enfield, follow Susan Danseyar on Twitter: @susandanseyar, Facebook: Susan Danseyar, reporter.