Saturday, October 29, 2011
City to pay for retaining walls
From the Times Ledger:
Homeowners received a letter two years ago informing them of the city Department of Environmental Protection’s interceptor project, which will lay a large sewer line behind their properties from 11th Avenue to the nearby Tallman Island Wastewater Treatment Plant on Powell’s Cove.
The retaining wall behind Tony Stinga’s house, which was built before he purchased the home, extends beyond his property line by about 20 feet. He said he was staring at a $50,000 bill when he was informed that he would be responsible for replacing it.
Faced with the possibility of foreclosure, Stinga gathered his neighbors and they contacted state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), who set up a meeting with DEP and the city Parks Department.
“Many of these homeowners were being put in situations where they needed to take immediate action at costs that would have forced them into foreclosure,” Avella said. “From the start it was clear that the city should assume the cost of removing these structures and reinstalling them at the new property line.”
The DEP agreed to assume the costs of taking down and replacing Stinga’s and another neighbor’s retaining walls because the structures were installed before they purchased their homes.