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City takes steps to clean up eyesore

A total disgrace.

That's what one Fix It reader called a run-down, vacant property on the city's West Side.

"The front section is covered with garbage," she said in a letter to The Buffalo News. "In the back is a garbage dump."

The property at 312 Normal Ave. is overgrown and filled with litter and debris, she said.

And it's only getting worse.

"The garbage now extends to the street curb," she said, "and rats are more visible."

After checking out the property, Fix It contacted Oswaldo Mestre, director of the city's Division of Citizens Services.

He looked into the complaint Friday and said the matter is now in Housing Court.

Mestre said the city received a complaint in early May and referred it to the Department of Economic Development, Permits and Inspections. After inspecting the property, that agency sent a letter of violation to the homeowner that went unanswered.

The city then referred the matter to Housing Court.

"Our hope here is we still want the homeowner to do something about it," Mestre said. In lieu of that, the judge can order the city to clean and seal the property.

Mestre said that even then, the city can bill the owner for the cost.

Fix It will keep its eyes on the situation and report back soon on any progress or lack of action.

Fix It helps readers of The News expose "small picture" problems in their day-to-day environment and get them resolved. To report such situations, leave a voice mail message on the Fix It line at 849-6026, e-mail or send a letter to Fix It, c/o The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, Buffalo, NY 14203. Fix It considers every suggestion received but is not able to respond to everyone who sent them in.

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