Friday, September 19, 2008

Avondale woman believes neighborhood's reason City damage not addressed

In a letter to Cincinnati City Councilmember Laketa Cole, an Avondale woman says that she believes that the condition of her neighborhood may be the reason why damage to her property isn't being addressed.

In February, the City awarded a contract to Evans Landscaping to tear down a shotgun-style house on Whittier Street that had been declared a public nuisance due to a leaning foundation and bowing walls.

During demolition, a section of fence running between that house and the woman's house was damaged by a large piece of machinery.

She says that she has spoken to Eugene Lackey of the City's Division of Buildings and Inspections, who says that it's "not his area to resolve".

"The City of Cincinnati is responsible for this," she says. "Every time I contact the City regarding this matter, I'm referred back to Mr. Lackey, who has taken times out twice to come out and reassure me that this is a City matter."

She says that Lackey has told her that the same department that handles sidewalk repairs, the Department of Transportation and Engineering, should repair the fence.

Not only is the fence damaged, but the sidewalk is caved in - and several people have already fallen.

"The constant liability threat is pending and I'm simply trying to resolve this matter so that a serious lawsuit doesn't build from this situation," she says.

She also says that, as a taxpayer and a property owner, she's entitled to the same treatment as someone from a more upper-class neighborhood.

"I feel that if this damage had occurred in a different neighborhood that this would have been resolved," she says. "I feel that due to the drug problems and violence in the immediate area, it has minimized the seriousness which I feel is despicable."

A report from City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr is due before council on October 1.