By MARK SARDELLA

WAKEFIELD — The Town Council last night granted a two-week extension related to the Building Inspector’s order to remove the old, unregistered motor vehicles stored on property at 383 Water St.

At its Jan. 10 meeting, the Town Council discussed the condition of the property, which has reportedly been strewn with at least 20 unregistered vehicles and various other kinds of debris for decades and has long been a sore subject for neighbors and abutters.

Last fall, the Building Inspector Benjamin DeChristoforo issued a Cease-and-Desist Order requiring property owner Stephen Ulwick, 76, to remove of all of the old, unregistered motor vehicles. Ulwick appealed that order at the Town Council’s Jan. 10 meeting. At that time, the board granted a 30 day extension, pending last night’s update. Town Administrator Stephen P. Maio said that some progress had been made and asked Ulwick’s attorney, Brian McGrail, to provide a further status update.

McGrail said that his client’s goal was to resolve the matter a quickly as possible. He said that since the Building Inspector’s order last November, 11 vehicles and many dumpsters full of material have been removed from the property.

McGrail acknowledged that there has been no further progress since the Jan. 10 meeting, citing weather and Ulwick’s health as reasons. In addition to the blizzard several weeks ago, a cold snap caused pipes to burst inside Ulwick’s home, resulting in a severe flooding condition in the basement. (Even prior to the flooding incident, it was determined that the home was uninhabitable due to its condition and Ulwick was ordered to cease living in the home. The town has been paying for him to stay at the Sheraton Four Points Hotel on Audubon Road.)

Also, McGrail noted, over the last 30 days Ulwick has suffered a health issue and was rushed to the hospital for emergency medical care.

That said, McGrail reported some positive news. Due to some good will from the community, significant progress has been made on planning a course of action to comply with the town’s order.

He said that a local building contractor and a towing company have stepped forward and offered their services at minimal cost to help in the removal of the remaining unregistered vehicles. He said that the Surianello family, owners of Heritage Builders, along with Joe Ardagna of Howe’s Towing have offered to bring in their heavy equipment when the weather allows and facilitate the removal of the remaining junk vehicles, some of which are on remote parts of the 4.5 acre property and would need to be brought to an area where they can be accessed and removed.

McGrail said that a site visit is scheduled for Thursday, when an assessment will be made as to when and how to proceed with the removal operation. He said that any town officials would be welcome to attend the site visit.

McGrail requested a two-week extension to the Town Council’s Feb. 28 meeting, at which point McGrail said that he would present a plan and timeframe for removal of the vehicles.

It was noted that the Building Inspector’s order pertains only to the old vehicles on the property. But Town Councilor Edward Dombroski pointed out that in addition to the junk vehicles, there is a tremendous amount of other debris on the site. He said that he would like so see a commitment to remove the other items as a gesture of good will.

Maio confirmed that the order only applies to the old unregistered motor vehicles, although Ulwick has been removing other material as well.

Dombroski said that he was fine with another two-week extension of the time to comply.

Councilor Ann Santos said that she was also OK with a two-week extension, as did other members of the board.

During public participation, Ervis Vukaj of 375 Water St. stressed to the Town Council that the rights of the neighbors need to be respected as well as Ulwick’s. He noted that the neighbors have been dealing with the situation for 20 years or more. He suggested that the Town Council could simply instruct the Police Chief to tow all of the unregistered vehicles.

The Town Council granted the requested two-week extension to comply with the order. Dombroski asked that McGrail provide the game plan for the site in writing prior to the board’s Feb. 28 meeting so that the board can review it ahead of time.