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Citizens hope to rid Spafford of dilapidated buildings

One of Spafford's most vocal advocates for town improvements is Linda Sanders. She has been involved with town beautification projects for years. Her current mission is to eradicate dilapidated and vacant buildings, particularly at the Borodino Four Corners and the house next to hers, on Nunnery Road.

For years, a grocery store with gasoline pumps was at the southeast corner. For a brief time next door, a pizza/bakery and liquor store operated. In the mid- 2000s the vacant grocery store was leveled with the approval of the owner. Today there is an attractive sign on the site that lists town happenings. However, the vacant building next door, painted blue, remains. Junk is piled up along side as well as an abandoned car.

The southwest corner has been beautified through efforts of local veterans and concerned citizens. It now has a memorial stone, benches for quiet contemplation and greenery. A gazebo, picnic tables and flowers grace the northeast corner, thanks again to the efforts of concerned Spaffordians. Concerts and barbecues are held there during the summer. Frank Moran is currently renovating the house on the northeast corner, which is next to historic Borodino Hall, also currently under extensive renovation. A lot is happening to beautify the town, yet eyesores remain.

Sanders has been in contact with Spafford Supervisor Webb Stevens concerning the house next to hers hoping that legislation could be introduced regarding dilapidated and vacant buildings. "It has been vacant for 10 years," she said of the house. "The floor has fallen into the basement and the back is piled to the roof with junk. It diminishes my property value; it just breaks my heart."

Sanders also contacted the health department as rats were seen running out of the house. "A person from the health department came out," she said, "got out of his car, stood in front of the house and said he saw no evidence of rats. 'There is no food there,' he said. That was the end of that conversation. 'You have to deal with local government,' " the health department person told her.

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