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LACKAWANNA VOTES TO CORRECT DRAINAGE WOES BEHIND HOUSE

The Lackawanna City Council Monday ignored its legal counsel's advice and ordered the city's Engineering Department to correct drainage problems behind a Cloister Court home near Willet Road Creek.

"We are going to get our engineer to restore the property to its original shape," Council President Edward D. Tokarz said.

James J. White of 39 Cloister Court sued the city about two years ago because he contended that work by a city-hired contractor on the north side of the creek behind his home created a "swamp" that attracts mosquitoes and retains water.

White's suit was dismissed on technical grounds, but 4th Ward Councilman Ronald R. Spadone, who introduced the resolution Monday night, has been trying to get the city to correct the problem, despite the city's victory on the lawsuit.

"It amounts to a public gift," acting City Attorney Frank L. Bybel has said of the resolution.

In the resolution passed unanimously Monday night. Tokarz said the Council only intends to do work on the portion of the creek bank behind White's home.

"I don't want a dime. I just want them to fix what they damaged," White said, adding that he is still willing to pursue the matter in court, if necessary.

White originally was joined in his lawsuit by about a half dozen neighbors whose properties also abut the creek.

In other business, the Council took title to the old Reed Cemetery, which it plans to hand over to the Lackawanna Historical Society.

The turn-of-the-century cemetery near the Ridge Road entrance to the city has been neglected for years. The city plans to restore it.

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