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Homeowners counting the days until eviction - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Homeowners counting the days until eviction

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COLCHESTER, Vt. -

  After living more than 2 decades with a view of Mallett's bay in Colchester, homeowner James Mix is counting down the days before he and over 20 of his neighbors will be evicted.

"I've gotta say everybody has been so nice and supportive. There's a universal theme. Everyone's just shocked. They can't believe this actually is happening, and I don't know what to tell people. I don't even know what to tell myself," Mix says.

   Mix and his entire neighborhood held a garage sale Saturday to help speed up the move and make what money they could. They can't sell their houses--because they don't own the land the homes stand on, but they are selling everything that they can.

 "We sold all out stainless steel appliances. We had custom cabinets and an island, furniture, and everything. We've been selling everything. One guy came yesterday and bought thousands, so that's great," said homeowner Molly Tucker.

  The eviction comes after years of conflict between the Mongeon Bay Properties, the company that owns the land, and the Mallett's Bay Homeowners Association. Mongeon claimed the association failed to follow their lease by not maintaining a seawall, and in the end, Vermont's supreme court ordered the homeowners to move out. Cars lined the street for the garage sale as shoppers came out to show their support for the residents.

"I don't think it's just about flooding, or beach erosion, or people being negligent. It's about greed and change in ownership, meaning land-lordship, and pure greed, and that is very disturbing," said Beth Ann Finlay, a Chelsea resident who showed up to shop.

   Mix says for him, the garage sale isn't about the money - it's about letting go of what he can't take with him. He plans to demolish his two houses before the eviction date.

"When it became apparent there wasn't going to be some kind of other solution, and then when we ultimately did learn that the land owner is intent on renting these houses back out to people, that was the final straw," Mix said.

   The home owners must move out by May 1st. They plan to hold a second day of garage sales on Sunday, April 9th.

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