Oswego County to declare home near EEE victim a 'public health nuisance'


swego County may declare an abandoned property in New Haven a, "public health nuisance," in order to force the cleanup of tons of trash.

CNYcentral's Jim Kenyon reports that the property is strewn with tons of garbage and debris.

Hundreds of flies could be seen through an open window in the abandoned trailer and a tub filled with water contained thousands of mosquito larvae.

The trailer on County Route 6 is next door to the home where Maggie Sue Wilcox lived. The 4-year-old died last summer from the mosquito borne virus Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Her death prompted a county wide effort to combat the disease.

Oswego County administrator Phil Church says the Town of New Haven and Oswego County have received numerous complaints about the condition of the property from neighbors.

The trailer has been abandoned since last August when its owner, Harold Curran died.

Church says Curran's heirs live out of state and are not taking responsibility for the property.

It presents a dilemma for the Town to find a legal way to cleanup the property without taking possession of it.

On Monday, the Oswego County Board of Health will hold a special meeting.

According to Oswego County's announcement of the meeting, "the purpose is to ask the board to take action per public health law 1305 to declare the Curran property in the Town of New Haven a public health nuisance in order to start the cleanup process."

Neighbor George Ladd described Harold Curran as, "eccentric and a hoarder." He says Curran would constantly pick up items people had discarded by the road side and bring them to his property.

Ladd says he hopes the public health nuisance declaration will result in a cleanup, but adds that past complaints about the property have gone unheeded.

According to Church, if the county gets the legal right to access the property, the cost of the cleanup would be added to the property's tax bill.

Church believes in the end, taxpayers will be forced to bare the burden of the cleanup.

Curran's daughter who lives in Des Moines, Iowa has not yet returned our calls.