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HOMEOWNER LOSES FIGHT ON CURBING

About 140 feet of curbing that a West Seneca man installed in front of his house on Marycrest Lane must be removed, town officials have decided.

If the curbing isn't removed beginning today, the town will do the work and bill the resident, Town Attorney James J. Kelleher said Tuesday.

The curb must be removed to make way for final paving work scheduled for Thursday as part of a street reconstruction program, he said.

The work was done without town approval and does not meet specifications, Kelleher said. The residents say they did have town approval.

"We never would have done it without permission," said Mrs. Raymond Battista. She said she was not aware that the town had decided the curb must go.

Some members of the Town Board weren't aware of it either. Supervisor Joan F. Lillis said she was not aware that a final decision had been made. "I have to hear it from a reporter, I'm only the supervisor," she said. She said she and Councilman Michael J. Graber feel the curbs should remain.

The decision that they must go apparently was made by the board's three-member majority, although Kelleher declined to specify.

Mrs. Battista, whose husband is a contractor, said employees of the firm installed the curbing earlier this spring while the street was in the process of being reconstructed.

She said they discussed the situation with a member of the town engineering staff who said it was allowable.

Kelleher said that while there might have been discussions with a staff member, the Battistas were not given permission and the Town Board, or at least a majority of it, is backing Town Engineer George Montz's position that the curbing was not installed according to town codes and regulations.

The town could be faced with a liability problem if it was determined that it knew the curb was not installed properly and allowed the condition to remain, he said.

Mrs. Battista said she was waiting to hear from her attorney before deciding what to do next.

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