Christine Stuart photo

These two vacant lots on Enfield Street in Hartford are giving Rosie Easterly a headache. “The rodents are so bad it’s ridiculous,” Easterly said Tuesday before city officials toured a number of vacant lots and abandoned buildings with Acorn’s Northend United chapter.

Easterly said she wants to know what’s going to be done because “nobody wants to come from their job and look at this.” She said the rodents are causing health problems for her two-year-old grandson, who has asthma that’s exasperated because of the rodents. And the overgrown grass has made her condo a target for burglars.

City officials from the Development Office and Department of Health and Human Services tried to assure Easterly and a handful of advocates that action has been taken against the property owners.

Michael Pascucilla, assistant director of health, said more than 20 notices have gone out to property owners in a four block radius near the two vacant lots on Enfield Street. Gus Espinoza, from the city’s development office, said the city has developed a new citation tool to remedy the problem which is prevalent in this area of the city.

He said if the individuals in charge of the companies that own the property, or the individuals themselves don’t clean up the property 10-days after receiving notice, then they are subject to a $99 per day fine. He said the fine is a “very effective” tool in getting the individual owners to clean up the properties.

But Easterly wasn’t impressed. She said they invited city officials out to view the property on Oct. 2 and it took them more than 8 days to send notice to property owners, who are then given 10 days to respond and take action.

Espinoza said the city has been working with the neighborhood NRZ since July and has been able to find three investors for three abandoned properties further down Enfield Street. “There’s been a big change on Enfield Street,” he said. He said there are three other tax delinquent properties on Enfield and Greenfield Streets that the city has referred to the city’s attorney for foreclosure.

But it’s the vacant lots at 45 and 47 Enfield Street causing Easterly the greatest concern. One of the properties is owned by Habitat for Humanity and the other is owned by the condo association Easterly belongs to, city officials said. Espinoza said he would have an answer regarding those two lots for Easterly