Montville residents said, while they are used to living next to eyesores, they will never get used to break-ins and squatters at abandoned homes in their neighborhood.
CT Financial Partners LLC owns 37 properties along Derry Hill Road, Massapeag Side Road and Driscoll Drive, according to town records. The company owes more than $1 million in taxes and hasn’t paid since 2010, according to tax collector Jerl Casey.
“My house has been broken into, my car has been broken into and it’s all because of this abandoned house next door,” said Brenda Chopp, who lives next door to a vacant home on Derry Hill Road.
After living on the street for 31 years, Chopp said thieves have stripped abandoned house next door of copper and the siding to the garage. She said the home is prone to people squatting or hunting on the land.
“Even though I have a security system now, when I leave my front door every day, I’m wondering who’s next door watching,” Chopp said, adding only recently the home was boarded up.
Montville Mayor Ronald McDaniel said the town could see some of that tax money as early as the end of June.
“(CT Financial Partners LLC is) in the middle of a refinancing program right now, which is being held up by some pending litigation,” McDaniel said. “I’ve been assured by the owner that once the refinancing goes through, he’s going to pay the taxes in full.”
If the company falls through on its promise to pay taxes in full, McDaniel said he’ll take action, even if it means foreclosure.
The company has been promising to pay, “since I’ve taken office and I’m sure before that,” the mayor said. McDaniel took office about five years ago.
The properties have been through several owners over the years. There had been talk of a golf course, condos, retail space and a marina, but no plans came to fruition.
The mayor said the town’s blight ordinance also limits what the town is able to do with the properties, but police presence has been increased in that area.
NBC Connecticut called the attorneys representing CT Financial Partners LLC but have not heard back at the time this story was broadcast.
A man living on Massapeag Side Road, who wanted to remain anonymous, lives between two vacant properties. He’s most concerned about selling his home and getting a good value for it, let alone any buyer interest. He also said the empty houses have attracted raccoons.
But two men on Driscoll Drive said they don’t mind the vacancies behind their houses. Ray Wehling said he mows the properties’ lawns to keep out ticks and make it look like someone’s living there.
Plus, he enjoys the quiet. As does neighbor Lawrence Tirrell, who also doesn’t mind the empty lot.
“Hope it remains that way,” Tirrell said.