Uneven, shifted, and lifted. They're problems plaguing Sharon Fronckowiak's sidewalk. “For a while we didn't do anything,” said the Homeworth Parkway homeowner. “Then, we called Cheektowaga Town Hall and asked if they would fix them.”
But be careful what you wish for. Fronckowiak received a certified letter from the Town of Cheektowaga ordering her to fix her sidewalks. “I was a little upset. I think there's a better way to handle it then how they did it. I always thought they were responsible for the sidewalks.”
According to Town Supervisor Diane Benczkowski, the town only targeted properties with trees growing between the road and sidewalk area. She said those tree roots are causing the sidewalks to uproot and become a safety hazard.
The tree roots fall under the town's responsibility. But, under current NYSDEC guidelines, it can’t remove any trees. So, it has agreed to foot 40 percent of cost it takes to repair the sidewalk. The homeowner is still on the hook for 60 percent.
“We're trying to remediate the tree. So, we're trying to fix the sidewalk and share in the cost whereas most towns don't even share in the cost,” Benczkowski said.
Still, some residents feel their being punished for a town problem, and now they have until August to make the repairs. Otherwise, the town will do the work and bill homeowners like Sharon Fronckowiak for the balance.