Monday, August 5, 2019

City screws Astoria homeowners financially from shitty water main repair job
(Photo by Jeff Fox/THE CITY)


 Astoria homeowners are fighting to recoup tens of thousands of dollars they say they were forced to spend after a city water main repair snafu sent raw sewage spewing into their homes.

The Department of Design and Construction acknowledged in letters obtained by THE CITY that a “number” of sewer-to-house connections were “inadvertently damaged” as a result of a water main project that began two summers ago.

 “The contractor when excavating on 38th Street affected a series of private sewer connections that were not indicated on the maps,” DDC spokesperson Shoshana Khantold THE CITY. “As a result, several of those lines were severed.”

 Yet some residents on the quiet stretch of 38th Street between 21st Avenue and Ditmars Boulevard say they can’t get city government to pay back the cash they were forced to spend on cleanup.

Some say they’re getting no clear answer on the holdup, while others say they’re caught in a bureaucratic Catch-22: a 90-day statute of limitations that ended before problems emerged.

“All of us got negatively impacted by this work,” said Jeff Fox, 40, a longtime homeowner. “It strikes me as incredibly unfair they can get away with doing shoddy work.”


Gino said...

When those homes were built the lines were "Tunneled" The city took the money for the permits but never updated any maps or old blueprints.
Most of your shitbox Fedders specials across Queens built in the 60 & 70 are the same way.

Anonymous said...

Vallonia - couldn't happen to a nicer group of people.

Get real: everything is coming home to roost. The houses, built cheap by speculators in the 20s are starting to age just as they are starting to sublease them and split them up as greed is the overriding ethic with that crowd. The wiring, windows, roofs in that construction have a finite life made worse by repairs on the cheap.

Face it - the rose is starting to fade on Vallonia and soon it will look like the rest of Astoria. Or should we say Athens.

Anonymous said...

They need to use thermal imaging and photogrammetry to update the maps because, not only is there a lot of illegal tunneling, but the underground streams moved either due to construction or even ground shifting.

Anonymous said...

Heck, my house was built in the sixties and the
developer filed plans with the city with no basement,
but the ads in the NY Times said full basement.

Anonymous said...

A lot of the Obama shovel ready sewer repairs in NEQ end up being misaligned
so homeowners have to redo their water and sewer pipes.

Anonymous said...

The "Real" Queens Crap !

Anonymous said...

The area between 31 St and Astoria Pk , Grand Central and Ditmars, was once a marsh. Hundred year old cookie cutter buildings sooner or later show their age. Cracked sidewalks at all sorts of crazy angles is a sure tip-off on what is going on underground. Would not buy a building up there is you gave it to me.

Anonymous said...

Friend of mine grew up in 1960s eastern Queens, in a 1920s building. Now, his dad was conscientious and put wall paper over the lead paint but he didn't know what was underneath. Then trucks rumbled by, releasing the asbestos that was holing together the plaster. Luckily my friend doesn't have cancer (yet) but he can't breathe because his lungs are hardened. He walks around with an oxygen tank on his back. Blame the asbestos? Blame the trucks? Blame the building age?

TommyR said...

Nobody should have to deal with literal and metaphorical shit City (via contractor) incompetence sends their way without due recourse and re-compensation. It worked for the richy-richs up in Bayside, hopefully these guys can retain a good lawyer and press the City to cover repairs.

On two tangential notes, (1) my home-owning neighbors downhill were doubly aghast to find that their newly paved sidewalks were dug up, filled in with tamped down black-gravel n' tar after "needed"(?) gas line repairs (covered by the City as it should've been but undoubtedly to be made back in utility cost increases), and THEN when they were actually properly re-concreted, they were hit with the bill...for $11,000. yeah this is why I'll repair things on my timeline, or not at all.

(2) Residents just over the tracks are STILL fighting with the City over responsibility for water mains, which the City claims is the home-owners responsibility even out in street past the property line, because of some obscure agreement they can't prove going back six decades or more.

Bullshit all around.

Anonymous said...

Do you wash and reuse old toilet paper?
These houses were never designed to outlast their thirty year mortgages.

Anonymous said...

Folks who got cancer from the Eutectic ground water were told by the original judge "What did you expect? Didn't you realize if you were buying a home that close to the tracks and for so little money, there might be SOMETHING wrong?" Somehow they thought Eutectic came from the Eclectic style of Rickert house design