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2 vacant homes may be demolished

Depew officials are targeting two vacant homes for rehabilitation or demolition.

"I wouldn't want to live next to that," Residential Building Inspector Matthew Filipowicz said of 34 Harlan St.

The three-family house was damaged by fire on June 21, 2006, and first floor windows have boards over them.

"The windows are open on the second floor, the birds are flying in," he said. "It's just an eyesore."

Under village code, if a building stands vacant and boarded up for a year or more, it is deemed unsafe and a fire and safety hazard, Filipowicz said. In that instance, the Village Board can issue an order that the building must be demolished or repaired.

The owner of 34 Harlan, Richard J. Marchewka, obtained a demolition permit last fall, but the building remains standing, Filipowicz said.

"It's been sitting there and nothing's been taken down," he said.

The board directed Filipowicz to start the process, and he has prepared a letter for the owner, stating the village will take action.

While he explained the situation to the Village Board Monday, Mayor Barbara A. Alberti asked him to look into a home at 159 Kieffer Ave. that has been vacant a number of years.

Filipowicz said the owner of the single-family Cape Cod died, and the village has been ready to demolish the house.

"We always stopped because the village would have had to pay for it, and the village doesn't have the money," he said.

He said he believes the demolition costs are about $12,000.

A provision of the code requiring the repair or demolition also calls for stiff fines if action is not taken, he said.

"If they won't do it, you have the right to come in and do it and add the cost to the tax bill," Village Attorney Anthony Nosek said.

e-mail: bobrien@buffnews.com

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