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Action vowed in complaints on building

Three residents of the area around 24th Street and Monroe Avenue complained Monday that a vacant building that once housed Ron's Hideaway tavern has deteriorated into a neighborhood nuisance, attracting trespassers who have "trashed" the property.

Members of the City Council and the city administration promised that almost immediate action would be taken on several fronts to address their complaints.

The building at 424 24th St. once housed apartments in addition to the tavern.

David Bieksza told the Council that the building is dilapidated and has been vandalized.

Debby Rybarczyk said a fence behind the property is deteriorated, and trespassers "trashed part of the building and the fence." She gave the Council a petition signed by about 70 neighbors, asking the city to install a fence to prevent the site from being used as a shortcut.

Dan Morrissette said, "I've constantly witnessed drug deals going on" there and he suggested evidence of other crimes.

Each of them said they had complained to various city department heads but had seen little improvement in the vacant property.

Council Chairman Sam Fruscione told them, "There will be a change there, starting tomorrow. We will take care of this."

Police Chief John Chella suggested that the change might come even sooner. He hinted that increased police patrols and surveillance of the area would begin Monday night.

In other business:

*City Clerk Carol A. Antonucci reported that 16 complaints were received during March charging that automobiles were damaged when they hit potholes in city streets and two were received about cars being damaged when they were struck by city snowplows. She said the claims were referred to Corporation Counsel Craig H. Johnson.

*The Council also adopted a resolution asking the State Legislature to review the law regarding housing for paroled sex offenders and to "do more to keep children [away] from sex offenders."

e-mail: rbaldwin@buffnews.com

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