Former Blue Sky facade once again falling apart
MADAWASKA, Maine — Bricks began falling once more from the facade of a downtown Madawaska building, Sunday, April 2. The unoccupied structure, which used to be the Blue Sky Motel, began shedding bricks from its front facade last winter. Sunday, a large section of bricks fell away from a sidewall, landing in the alley between the former motel and Jeff’s Pizza.
“At this point, both myself and our code enforcement officer have been contacted by concerned citizens. However, there may be very little the town can do from a public safety standpoint,” Town Manager Ryan D. Pelletier said in an email Monday morning.
Last year, the town cordoned off a section of public sidewalk in front of the building when bricks and pieces of mortar had begun raining down. The town’s fire department subsequently used its ladder truck to remove the remaining loose bricks.
Because the bricks are now falling onto a private alley between two buildings, instead of on the public sidewalk, Pelletier said he thinks it could be more of an issue between the owners of the Blue Sky property and the adjacent landowners, rather than a public safety issue.
In August, the building’s owner, Fitzroy Weatherspoon, who lives out of town, hired a local contractor to repair the front facade. Prior to that, barricades had blocked the sidewalk for months. At the time, the town’s board of selectmen threatened legal action against Weatherspoon if the safety issues remained unresolved.
“Our code enforcement officer has been attempting to reach the owner via phone and email, but at present, has not been successful,” Pelletier said Monday. The town manager did not confirm if the town was considering legal action for this latest incident.
Weatherspoon has made arrangements to complete the needed repairs, according to Madawaska contractor David Morin. Morin completed the renovations to the front of the crumbling facade last year.
Madawaska Police Chief Ross Dubois said his department received a report on Sunday about the new falling bricks and set up barricades and notified the town office.
Pelletier said town officials would continue to monitor the situation and be ready to respond in the event that the issue becomes a threat to the general welfare of the community.