Sunday, June 10, 2012
You can fight city hall...
From the Queens Courier:
A Fresh Meadows homeowner who said he was bilked by the city in 2009 for over $2,000 was reimbursed more than half the cost and was refunded a piece of his pilfered American Dream.
“I feel good that I won. I got into a good fight and I loved it,” said John Biagi, 62.
Biagi said when the city billed him for what he called unnecessary sidewalk repairs, he felt his right as a homeowner was violated.
In 2004, the retired mechanic was warned by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to replace approximately 68-square-feet of sidewalk on his Utopia Parkway property. While he said the slabs were defective from two trees the city recently removed, he said he had every plan to cooperate with the agency, but first requested more information.
He did not hear back from them until 2009 when he said city workers came out of the woodwork, replacing nearly the entire sidewalk surrounding Biagi’s corner home — including close to 800-square-feet of pavement instead of the originally estimated 68.
Total cost the city billed Biagi: $2,240.69.
Now, the homeowner has been given back $1,442.62 — a check from the city Biagi was happy to cash. He has also replaced his billboard with a smaller one that reads “Refunded $1,442.62. Thanks for your support.”
The former sign, which garnered much attention, still leans against the home Biagi has lived in for over 20 years, and he plans to let fellow frustrated neighbors borrow it.
“I think it was wrong that I should have been in the fight in the first place, but at least I got justice in the end,” Biagi said.