Hetty Green Motel is on the market

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BELLOWS FALLS — The Hetty Green Motel is officially for sale.

Rockingham Town Manager Wendy Harrison said the Windham Probate Court had given the administrator of the estate of Maria Zdunek permission to sell the dilapidated motel.

Stephen Ankuda, the Rockingham town attorney, said Monday that the sale is the next step in resolving the future of the motel, which was the subject of a health order earlier in the year by the town, which ordered that it be boarded up to limit vandalism and keep out trespassers.

Ankuda said that so far the asking price for the motel hasn't been set. The motel sits on the north end of the village of Bellows Falls. Despite its name, there is no connection to Hetty Green, a famous Wall Street financier who lived for a time in Bellows Falls more than 100 years ago.

Ankuda declined to say how much money the town is currently owed for back taxes on the old motel, as well as water and sewer fees from the village of Bellows Falls. Earlier, town officials have estimated the amount at between $35,000 and $50,000. The amount was allowed to accumulate since Zdunek filed for bankruptcy several years ago, and avoided paying taxes and fees.

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"The estate has permission to sell it," Ankuda said.

Ankuda's law partner, Patrick Ankuda, was appointed the administrator of the estate earlier this year by the Windham Probate Court.

Harrison said volunteers were cutting brush at the motel in preparation for putting the building formally up for sale, as well as moving out the old cars left behind by Zdunek, who died last year without a will. Zdunek's children and heirs were not interested in taking ownership of the old motel and resolving the Hetty Green's financial and tax problems, so the town went to probate court in hopes of ultimately finding a new owner of the building and not letting it deteriorate further.

Ankuda said the prospective buyer would have to present a plan on how they will use the motel in the future. He said the cars, four vintage Cadillacs left behind by Zdunek, had been removed for safe keeping. Harrison has said in the past that the old cars had generated some interest.

Contact Susan Smallheer at ssmallheer@reformer.com or at 802 254-2311, ext. 154.


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