Reporter Provides Dyster's Home Phone Number to Man with a Problem (Readers Urged to Call Mayor at Home)
The following is a letter we received from a homeowner in Niagara Falls, and our response:
My house was one of the properties affected by frozen pipes on 77th St. The problem is worse than the city posited and has affected more homes than they reported. My yard was full of water and the basement was filling up to the ceiling. I called the Niagara Falls Water Board, asking them to shut off the water at the street, but was told they don't have enough manpower. Finally, several days later, the water was turned off. By that time, it ruined all the mechanics, furnace, water tank, electrical etc. Since the flooding, my tenant moved out, the house is full of water, as is my neighbor's yard, and my homeowners insurance has been canceled. When I asked for help, the Water Board told me it's my responsibility to replace broken water lines on the street, just like others effected on 77th and 72nd St.
After your article appeared in the Niagara Falls Reporter (Real Blame for Frozen Lines Belongs to Water Board, Feb.11) I went to City Hall several times to try to talk to someone at the Mayor's Office, but the door was always locked.
Finally, I talked to the City Controller who told me she had no idea about problems with frozen lines on 77th St. After I showed her your article, she said, "Ok, you need to give us your info and someone will contact you." No one called, so I went back a week later and, again, the Mayor's Office was locked, but someone at the Controller's office took my name and number and said it would be given to someone who would call me. I demanded answers. No one was available.
The Controller suggested I call Gross Plumbing. I called Gross for weeks and, when they finally returned my call, they told me they know nothing about the city paying for repairs and that if I was not prepared to pay, they were not prepared to come to look at the problem.
I went back to City Hall. Again, the Mayor's Office was locked. I went to the City Controller's Office again and was told to leave my name and someone would contact me. I complained that no one ever returns calls. Finally, someone said I could call Dennis Virtuoso at Code Enforcement because he is responsible for problems with frozen pipes on 77t St. I called and was told that the city would not pay or do anything about my problem.
In conclusion, I am paying water bills and property taxes. In return, I expect the city to take responsibility, since it's clearly their fault.
This city is so corrupt that I don't think I will get any help. That's why I am asking you to do a follow up article and find out how many homes were really affected and what happened to the money that was allocated by the city to pay for the damages to affected homeowners.
(P.S. - It's been almost a month and still no one returned my messages from the mayor's office.)
It appears that the city and the Water Board incorrectly paved 72nd Street. In doing so they disturbed the water lines. They should have replaced the lines when they did the road work because the water lines were above the frost line. It is likely the same thing happened on 77nd St. and we will investigate the matter.
That you could not reach the mayor is a common complaint.
In a Buffalo Spree Magazine interview with Mayor Paul Dyster, published January, 2013, it was reported that Dyster "lists his home phone number and address on his website, and entertains calls from constituents who want to complain about streets not being plowed or a missed trash pickup."
The same article also appeared in Draft Magazine, a magazine about beer drinking.
You (Oleg) tried to reach the mayor at work.
Why not call him at home?
Mayor Dyster's home phone number is (716) 282-6694. His address is 626 Orchard Parkway, Niagara Falls, N.Y., 14301. His email address is email@example.com. Let us know what he says when he answers your call at home.
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Mar 04, 2014