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Fix it What needs repairing around Buffalo Niagara

The problem

Fix It reader Dan Abbott of Buffalo likes shopping at the strip mall at 1250 Abbott Road in Lackawanna, but says the parking lot looks like "the middle of a battlefield."

"I'm just waiting for military personnel to climb out of one of those 'bunkers' some day," Abbott writes, referring to the craters that dot the parking lot.

The potholes are particularly bad in the areas that get a lot of traffic ? the strips that run around the edges of the parking lot, and in front of the storefronts.

There are several large ones in front of Cavalier Wine and Spirits, and manager Greg Zmuda says the problem is especially bad when it rains, because "it puddles in the holes, then you can't see them," he said.

Another merchant in the strip mall, who asked not to be named, said he has patched the pavement in front of his store himself so that customers can safely push their shopping carts to their cars.

He said the mall's management, the Benchmark Group, was contacted. "Supposedly, they were going to get here as soon as possible," he said. "They haven't gotten here yet."

Fix It called the Benchmark Group and spoke with a receptionist who told us the man we wanted to talk to was property manager Rob Willard.

We left several messages Thursday and Friday for Willard, as well as a message on the company's main voice mailbox, but as of Friday afternoon, no one called back.

The Benchmark Group responded promptly to a Fix It reader's concern with one of its properties last November, so we'll keep working on this new complaint, and try to get in touch with someone again next week for a resolution.

It's pothole season in Western New York, and Fix It is receiving a lot of complaints about bad roads. But we also look into other "small picture" problems that readers feel should be corrected. Contributions can be made by calling the Fix It line at 849-6026, e-mailing or by regular mail at Fix It, c/o The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, Buffalo, NY, 14203.