A busted pool, a broken shed, and a missing fence — that's just some of the damage Frank Harnisher says a city contractor did to his property while working on a project to alleviate chronic flooding on West 11th Road during high tide.
The 78-year-old has fought for months to get the contractor or the city to address the issue. "I can't get them down here, I can't get anybody to talk to me about how they are going to redo my property," he said.
Which was the agreement, according to a 2014 letter from the contracting firm EIC Associates.
Workers used his property at the end of the street to build a cofferdam, a watertight enclosure for construction below the waterline.
The company said it would return the area to its pre-construction condition, but instead Harnisher said it's been one problem after the other.
"When they erected the cofferdam a lot of my property deteriorated, and instead of building it back to its pre-existing condition, they shorted me five feet of property on one side, my existing rock bulkhead on the other side is three feet shorter, and now I'm subject to high tides," Harnisher said.
The contracting firm said it was told to vacate 11th Road to make room for Build it Back construction and couldn't go back.
But when NY1 reached out to the Department of Design and Construction, the agency overseeing the $28 million project, we were told that property that was removed or damaged because of the work will be restored.
Thursday, July 13, 2017
City contractors damage property then skedaddle
Posted by Queens Crapper at 7:09 AM
Living in an area known to continuously flood and expecting a new result is as Albert Einstein would say, "insanity".
Buyers be aware!!!
(SARC): HOWEVER, damage is damage and this man should not be held hostage nor should the contractor come in and CREATE NEW water problems.
Perhaps homeowners should absolutely refuse Contractors from the City access to their property UNLESS and UNTIL a contract is signed with the homeowner making the Contractor deposit $1 million in an escrow account from which the amount of property damage will be deducted.
The cost of an attorney -- for which the City and the Contractor should be liable -- to draw up and monitor the contract and escrow account is well worth the price to avoid all future sturm und drang fighting the City and its Contractor.
Since a Mayoral election is not too far off perhaps homeowners would have better leverage by getting our representatives to present a bill like this. It certainly is well overdue. Homeowners pay the taxes and salaries so they should have some say in a law to protect their property and get redress immediately -- not over years.
Does anyone on this blog have a better idea? Please express it here.
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