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Housing suit against village is dismissed

A federal judge has dismissed a civil lawsuit that was brought against Depew by a property owner in the village who has been cited for numerous housing code violations.

Village Clerk Robert M. Kucewicz said the owner of the four-unit apartment building at 69 Neoga St., Franci May of Brockport, was cited for more than 100 housing code violations.

"We had to ask that the residents of the building be removed. That's when he sued the village for loss of income," Kucewicz said Monday.

Village Attorney James M. Vallone told the Village Board that an outside law firm, Hurwitz & Fine, that was hired to defend the village in the lawsuit recently advised him that U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer dismissed May's case against the village.

Kucewicz said May's Neoga Street property has been cited numerous times by village building and fire inspectors and was finally declared a health hazard after raw sewage was found backing into the basement.

Kucewicz said that the owner has tried to correct some of the violations but that the building remains boarded up. He said May has until January to repair all of the violations cited at the property or risk a hefty fine or a jail term.

The board also was apprised Monday that the village has paid $10,745.50 for rights to a natural gas well on Sanilac Street.

Village officials said that the well has provided fuel to heat a portion of the municipal building at 85 Manitou St. The well is owned by the heirs of the late John and Lillian Potter. In 1996, the Potters signed an agreement providing the village rights to the well. However, in a Nov. 20 letter to Mayor Joseph G. McIntosh and the Village Board, the Potters' heirs said the village had not been honoring the lease over the last decade.

Village Trustee William M. Maryniewski questioned why it took so long to honor the lease but said he was pleased the village finally acted.

"I feel good that they are now being paid for something that they hadn't been paid for since 1995," Maryniewski said.

Vallone said the issue was addressed as soon as the Potters' heirs brought it to the attention of village officials.

e-mail: hmcneil@buffnews.com

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