Say City Itself Responsible For Damage So Why Should They Be Forced To Pay?

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — They were stuck with the bill.

There was and frustration Friday for some Staten Island homeowners who say the city damaged their sidewalks, then made them pay to fix it, reports CBS 2’s Mark Morgan.

“They did it and they just walked away,” Robert Rubin said.

Rubin is angry. He said city workers damaged his sidewalk while paving the street in front of his house in Great Kills back in May.

“The machine that pounds down the blacktop, had to bang up against the curb,” Rubin said.

Rubin showed Morgan some of the resulting damage.

“All this was pushed and crumbled this way,” Rubin said, picking up pieces of the sidewalk.

So, Rubin called the Department of Transportation to complain. It responded by sending Rubin a summons in the mail. Apparently an inspector had come to look at the sidewalk, and Rubin was told to fix it himself, or the city could repair it and bill him. Rubin estimates repairs would cost between $700 and $1,000.

“That’s wrong. I didn’t do this damage; the city did it, or the contractors they hired did it,” Rubin said.

Two doors down, Irwin Baron received a summons as well, for what he said are minor problems with his sidewalk.

“They had to come down look at Rob’s. Instead of fixing it immediately, they’re now looking to cause problems for everybody else on the block,” Baron said.

Directly across the street, just a few steps from Rubin’s sidewalk, the concrete is off-set three or four inches, but the resident was not ticketed. In fact, not one person on that side of the street received a summons.

Unless the city agrees it’s responsible for the damage, Rubin has 45 days to decide if he wants to repair the sidewalk himself, or have the city do it, and pay them for what he feels they did.

The DOT said if any property owner feels they received a notice of violation in error, they may request a re-inspection within 45 days of receiving the notice.

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