Bernard Epperson, the power of attorney for Wilson John Epperson who resides at the Sitrin Center in New Hartford attended a public hearing Aug. 11 on his brother's behalf. The hearing, held by the Lenox Town Board cited property at Route 31 and 207 Kohles Road in violation of the town's property maintenance ordinance.
Richard Stagnitti, the town's codes enforcement officer said the property had numerous fallen trees on it and the grass was too high when homeowner Wilson Epperson was cited in October of last year.
June of this year, Epperson was cited again because the structure was wide open. Garbage and other rubbish spilled from inside the home onto the outside of the property, Stagnitti said. Epperson was issued 10-day abatement at that time.
In July, the town received word by letter that Epperson was no longer residing at the home and was living at the Sitrin Center, according to town Attorney Peter Finocchiaro.
Last month, the town highway department secured the building by boarding it up and hauled away a 10-wheeler of garbage that had accumulated on the outside of the property.
"Kids were going in there and monkeying around," said Supervisor Rocco DiVeronica. "We boarded it up to keep people out."
Bernard Epperson's wife, Cathy, said they had hired someone to mow the grass.
"At that time Wilson thought he'd go home," Cathy Epperson said. Once the owner realized he wouldn't return home, he turned the property over to his brother, Tim, to live there with his girlfriend, Cathy Epperson said. She said Tim bagged the garbage.
The Eppersons said they kept in contact with Wilson once a week while Tim and his girlfriend lived at the residence.
"He told us everything was fine," Cathy Epperson said. "We have no idea when Tim moved out."
"What do you want to do?" DiVeronica asked the two.