Sumter house sale scheduled for Friday the 13th

Cross your fingers, knock on wood three times and toss a pinch of salt over your left shoulder: The sale of the dilapidated house at 8 Sumter Ave. is scheduled to close on Friday the 13th.

“With the exception of the Friday the 13th part, I think it’s good news,” East Williston Attorney Jeffrey Blinkoff said at the village’s Board of Trustees meeting Monday.

For years, the house has been the recipient of recurring resident complaints about its appearance and the subject of possible health and safety concerns, including charges that raccoons lived at the house.  

“We’re pleased that a sale is moving forward, and we can get a contributing resident to our community,” Mayor David Tanner said.

Blinkoff said that he believes the purchaser is a father financing the home for a young couple, which intends to live at the location.

An architect on behalf of the purchasers scheduled a Wednesday meeting with the village to cover “how things will look,” Blinkoff said. The couple, he said, has not yet settled on demolition or renovation.

“I personally am happy to hear that they are considering demolition, but demolition or renovation – as long as it’s timely – will be good for the residents,” Deputy Mayor Bonnie Parente said.

She added that she liked that the couple intends to live at the property.

“I’m always happy to find out that the people that are going to be purchasing are people who want…live in our village,” Parente said.

Blinkoff said the village has agreements in place that would require the purchaser to get permits and construction completed in certain time frames, including the demolition of the shed and detached garage within 60 days of getting a permit from the village.

“The property in disrepair has been an eyesore and a nuisance to the surrounding neighbors and to the greater East Williston community,” Tanner said. “So having the property renovated will certainly improve the surrounding area.”

The village would also receive about $47,000 in arrears, Blinkoff said.  

Plans to demolish the house, owned by John and Theresa Muzio, date back to at least 2012. And in September 2013, after a protracted legal battle with the owners, the village received bids from two construction companies to raze the house.

But the board delayed the demolition as the Muzios and a developer tried to salvage a deal that fell apart after the property was denied a variance to subdivide it into two lots.

In September 2014, the village received a signed order from Nassau Supreme Court Judge James McCormack giving the village permission to raze the house. Four months later, a judge issued a temporary stay of demolition until May after a potential buyer approached the Muzios in December.

Now the end of the saga is set for the unluckiest of days: Friday the 13th. But Tanner said that is not a concern.

“I’m cautious but not superstitious,” he said. “In this case, there’s reason to be.”

Blinkoff said that worst-case scenario, the deal would be finalized Monday or Tuesday.

But “until everything is signed and done, it’s not done,” he added.

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James Galloway

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