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Town of Tonawanda neighbors complain that house needs to clean up

Posted at 6:38 PM, Aug 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-01 18:38:20-04

Over 50 members of the Town of Tonawanda community signed a petition that was given to the Town Board Monday night asking for their intervention with a home on 43 Klauder Road. That home, neighbors claim, is "run down", and needs to update its look for the sake of the neighborhood. 

Thomas Heiser, who owns the home and rents it out, has had it inspected by the Erie County Health Department two times this past June due to complaints. 

"As of right now I am in complete compliance" Heiser said. 

Being in compliance is not enough for a Gerry Peehler, a neighbor who lives right next door at 43 Klauder. He says that he has an obligation to the neighborhood, and something needs to be done. 

"What is he seeing?" Peehler said, "Why don't you let this junk go? Get rid of it. Make the house look nice."

Stacks of bricks, a large cage, and crumbling front steps are among some of the reasons why Peehler refers to the house as a "slum lord place".

"Remember the show hoarders? That's what I'm seeing" Peehler joked. 

Heiser, who has owned the home for over a decade, has dealt with neighbor complaints for a long time, and believes the petition is not just against his home, but also him personally. 

According to Heiser, "These people (referring to his neighbors) it's just personal vendettas that have been going on for years and years."

To Peehler, who has lived in his home at 47 Klauder for over twenty years, it isn't personal, it is about keeping the home clean. 

"His personal vendetta, I don't know where he gets that from I really don't." 

Peehler also has a financial stake in the house next door cleaning up. He has recently been looking to move, and when realtors came in to look at his house, they told him the house next door is bringing the value of his own home down by "thousands of dollars".