Land purchased by Manchester becomes trespasser paradise
By WFSB Staff
MANCHESTER, CT (WFSB) -
Land purchased by the city of Manchester six years ago has becomes a place for trespassers to go party, but why haven't city officials put a stop to it?
Taxpayers bought it, and vandals destroyed it.
Sitting amidst the scenic 640 acres of Case Mountain in Manchester is a log cabin.
Its current state is in stark contrast to the majesty of the surrounding hiking trails.
"Well, I think Case Mountain is a beautiful place for residents to take advantage of," said Manchester resident Julie Braggs. "I hike up here with my dog all the time."
The city of Manchester has been acquiring plots of land on Case Mountain over the past few decades as part of an initiative to own open space for public use.
The 3,000-square-foot log cabin and house tucked into the mountainside was bought by the city six years ago.
City officials said they hoped to one day use the land for open recreation. But, since then, the city has not maintained the cabin, and its become a place for people to party.
Signs of vandalism are everywhere.
The I-Team wanted to know why the city hasn't protected this structure, but they said, they've tried.
"Well, if you've been on the property you can see that we've put up a lot of fencing and we've boarded up the lower parts of the property in order to try and keep people out of it," said Manchester General Manager Scott Shanley. "The deck in the front if very dangerous. That's probably going to have to come down. But, as a practical matter, there is a limit to what we can do until we can find the resource to rebuild it in some way."
Attempts to keep people out of the cabin haven't worked.
The I-Team went to the cabin and found clear evidence that people go there to vandalize and drink.
And in a video sent in by an Eyewitness News viewer, in one room of the city-owned cabin there's even a bed labeled, on the head board, "Virgin Slayer."
And the damage isn't too old.
The I-Team returned again to the property a few weeks after its first visit and found that even more damage and partying had occurred.
It's enough to have residents worrying about the safety of people going onto the property.
"They're going to find out the hard way if somebody gets hurt," said Manchester resident Rhasheed Spike. "They're going to find out it's a liability. Until then, if they just keep sitting there, it's just going to sit there and rot, basically."
Spike isn't alone in that thought, either.
"If there's drinking and partying going on and the town owns that property if something, God forbid, if something awful were to happen, then the town would be liable," Braggs said.
There are still no plans for the property, but the city received grant money to assess the integrity of the structure.
That will tell if the house taxpayers bought on a beautiful mountainside will have to come down, falling victim to vandals.
Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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