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Owasco judge tells Melrose Farm owner to fix condemned workers’ housing or tear it down

The owner of Melrose Farm in Owasco was given 14 days to decide what he wants to do with a condemned building previously used to house farm workers on his property.

Monday night in Owasco Town Court, Justice Mark DiVietro gave Joe Tidd two weeks to decide to fix the building to bring it up to code or tear it down.

In February, Tidd was cited by the town of Owasco for violating building codes. The structure Tidd was using to house migrant workers who milked cows on his dairy farm did not have a permit to be built, nor was there any record of electrical inspections or certificates on file with the town. In addition, Tidd never received a certificate of occupancy for the structure. So, town code enforcement officer J. Patrick Doyle issued a cease and desist order for the property. According to the violation letter issued by the town on Feb. 7, Tidd had until March 9 to remedy the violations.

In September, an inspection of the structure by Doyle found that several migrant workers were still living in the decrepit building, though Tidd had never addressed any of the violations. As a result, Doyle condemned the property and Tidd was ordered to appear in court.

During the proceedings, Tidd admitted to the judge that he built the structure on his farm without a permit and that he never obtained a certificate of occupancy.

The Auburn Citizen:
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