Today’s news:

Vacant house now cleaned and secured

After months of worry about overgrown weeds and teenagers who might use a vacant house in Waterbury-LaSalle as a hangout, the property has been secured.

The two-bedroom house at 3032 Waterbury Avenue had been an eyesore since 2005, when its owner, Eleanor Kovalski, was put in the custody of the city’s Adult Protective Services.

Neighbors of the distressed property worked with Senator Jeff Klein’s office after he learned that rodents and mosquitoes had set up shop. Squatters may have occupied the house at one point, Klein reported.

“It used to be my grandparent’s house, and it was an adorable and wonderful place,” said Mary Jane Musano of the Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association. “The woman who had been living there died and her daughter, who remained, was an unstable person.”

Klein discovered that Kovalski entered into the custody of Selfhelp Community Services, Inc. in 2007 and found that property taxes on the house, unpaid for six years, totaled some $15,000. Klein also uncovered an $11,000 water lien on the property.

Because of maintenance issues at the property, Klein reached out to the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and the city Department of Health (DOH). DOH has cleared the property of weeds and secured its entrances.

“In recent months, I have set out to make the public aware of abandoned properties managed by irresponsible mortgage companies and banking institutions,” Klein said. “I was confident in the city’s ability to help Ms. Kovalski…I took it upon myself to protect the rest of the neighborhood by finding the responsible agency to clean up a house that was an eyesore and health hazard.”

Klein also contacted the attorney for Kovalski’s legal guardian, who is in the process of selling the property to pay for Kovalski’s medical care. The senator will remain in touch with Kovalski’s attorney and will notify the Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association when the home is up for sale, he said.

“I want to take a look at the house once it’s on the market because I would love to have it back in the family,” Musano said. “My cousin is also interested in purchasing the property. However, it’s my understanding that it’s in very bad shape. Even the copper plumbing was taken. It may have to be demolished.”

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