Hanover residents expressed concerns Tuesday over a recent decision by the town council to delay a demolition order for a dilapidated home.

The property in question, 147 Hickory St., was deemed unsafe late last year. However, the council later voted to give a three-month stay on the demolition after a contractor expressed interest in buying and refurbishing the home.

The town's building inspector had cited several major issues with the home, including significant structural damage, standing water and a termite infestation.

The residents' concerns came over the town's oversight with the process, and many told the council that they felt as if the home was beyond repair.

Council President Debbie Kroger said the council voted for the stay after a contractor showed his plans to purchase and rehabilitate the house. That contractor lives near the property, but ultimately, the house sold to a different buyer once it went on the open market.

Kroger said the council acted as it did to preserve a home and maintain the town's tax base.

"We can't sit back and tear down houses, because that's not going to benefit the town," she said.

Kevin McKinnley, who owns a home near the property, told the council he has concerns that the contractor will not fully eradicate the termite problem in and around the home - which he said has been full of water for several years. If the pest issue spreads to neighbors, McKinnley said eradicating the pest could cost hundreds of dollars.

"We're all just trying to protect our property," he said.  

Mark Ayers, another neighbor, asked how the council will handle its decision if the rehab project is not fully completely by March 3 - which would be the three - month deadline.

Attorney Josh Stigdon noted that demolition order continues to stay in effect, adding that the council will hold a hearing to review the contractor's work. At that point, the council would decide whether or not to lift, extend or follow through with the order, Stigdon said.

Ayers and several of the other residents at the meeting said they had interest in buying the property in order to tear down the structure. Ayers added that he doesn't want to see a "Band-Aid" placed on a home that has substantial issues.

"You look on that street and you see nice home, nice home and then an eye sore," Ayers said.

Kroger said she would inform the building inspector to check on the project every few days and to speak with the area residents about their concerns for the structure.

Also at the meeting:

•The council had the first reading of an amended ordinance that would ban electronic cigarettes from town properties, including the town park.

•The town entered into an agreement to provide financial support to Lifetime Resources, which provides Catch-A-Ride. The agreement is for $4,100 this year.

•The council agreed to hire Ezra Ison to fill a vacant position at the town garage.