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Wheatfield will extend permit ban until drainage problem is resolved

WHEATFIELD -- The Town Board will continue to refuse to issue any building permits to Ryan Homes following complaints Monday by a Kingfisher Lane couple who have not had their drainage problems fully resolved.

Homeowner Larry Parker said a representative from Ryan Homes was at his home since the August board meeting, "acknowledged ownership" of the problem and agreed to fix it.

However, the company never took any action, Parker said.

Instead, Highway Superintendent Arthur Kroening, whom Parker had criticized last month, came to the property and fixed some drainage pipe.

More work still needs to be completed, it was noted.

Parker appeared before the board Aug. 17 and said the town failed to address his drainage woes even though he had been asking for help for more than two months.

Kroening said that after the parties met, he was told by Ryan that the company would "take care of everything." He went out to the property last week and found no work done, so he completed half of it with town crews.

Supervisor Timothy E. Demler said he wanted to continue to hold all building permits for Ryan until the situation is resolved. Previously, it was noted that other homes throughout the town built by Ryan are experiencing the same flooding problems.

The consensus of the board was to continue the permit ban it started last month until the drainage issues are remediated. Demler and Town Attorney Robert O'Toole said no permits have been issued to Ryan since last month.

Demler said he believed the town could charge Ryan for the work Kroening performed.

In another drainage matter, Sam Conti, Democratic candidate for supervisor, criticized Councilman Arthur Gerbec for the inaction of the drainage committee.

During the discussion, Gerbec admitted the committee, which he represents for the board, has not met all year.

Conti, who was appointed to the committee by Demler, said he had been "waiting by the phone" all year for a call from Gerbec about a meeting date and a list of committee members. To date, he said he has not been contacted. Another appointee, Roy Gregory, said he was never contacted, either.

Gerbec said that the committee has not met due to the illness of its chairman and that he would contact Conti as soon as the committee is reorganized. Despite the inaction, drainage work continues to be done throughout Wheatfield, he noted.

Conti said the committee investigates drainage complaints and reports back to Kroening with recommendations. It operates at no cost to the taxpayers, he said.

Demler, who said his administration started the committee in 1996, noted that more than $2 million in drainage work had been done and only smaller drainage problems exist.

He said it is time for the committee to meet again and look at appointing another chairman.

e-mail: niagaranews@buffnews.com

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