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Couple reiterates property damage

The Common Council got a Christmas gift Wednesday -- rubble from the Gondek family.

Deborah Gondek, head of the citizens group Residents Against Flooded Terrain, and her husband Michael have attended nearly every Council meeting and workshop session for nearly two years to press their case for repairs to their Brentwood Drive property and proper monitoring of the proposed Briarwood subdivision adjacent to their home.

Michael Gondek stepped to the microphone, duffel bag in hand, and said, "In the spirit of the season, I have a gift for the Council."

He placed jagged gray concrete blocks before each Council member, saying they were from "our driveway, which still hasn't been repaired."

The Gondeks say that their driveway, sidewalk and some lawn were damaged by a contractor working for the city who installed sewer and water lines and a road for Briarwood, a subdivision of 23 homes proposed by C&R Real Properties LLC of Depew.

Work was halted in the summer of 2005 after RAFT filed a lawsuit saying the city didn't have the proper state permits when it started work on the site, which includes federally designated wetlands, and that a public hearing was never held.

Since that time the subdivision was scaled back to 23 homes from 38 and several environmental and drainage issues have been addressed.

Deborah Gondek also noted that this year the Council passed a law requiring contractors to notify affected property owners one week before any work is started.

But she said several issues remain, including risks of increased flooding; revised costs for infrastructure and how it will be paid for; and types of homes to be built.

The Gondeks said they still are awaiting a promised letter from the city addressing their property repairs. City Clerk Thomas Jaccarino said the letter was mailed Wednesday.

Mayor Lawrence V. Soos asked for a copy of the Gondeks' concerns, saying, "I thought this was taken care of. I know it was moved forward on my end."

In its last meeting of the year, the Council also approved site-development regulations created by the advisory Environmental Committee in conjunction with the Planning Board.

e-mail: lwinchester@buffnews.com

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