AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - An Amherst homeowner was unsure where to turn. The sidewalk in front of his home was so damaged it was a potential liability, and Jim Delgaudio couldn't get any answers.
Delgaudio turned to News 4 for help, writing in a letting that he exhausted all other remedies trying to find out who could help him fix two sections of sidewalk that had settled in front of his home.
"I just want it fixed before somebody gets hurt, and I don't feel like I'm responsible. I've gotten one explanation after another. I'm at a dead end. Nobody wants to take responsibility other than tell me I'm supposed to repair the sidewalk at my own expense," Delgaudio said.
The sidewalk in front of his home had settled low in the ground, and the section that did not settle was being held up by a shutoff valve for an adjacent fire hydrant. We found a similar issue up the street from Delgaudio's home.
"I wasn't even aware of this one today. Even though it's not as bad as mine in a couple of more years it's going to be," Delgaudio said.
News 4 made calls to the Town of Amherst and the Erie County Water Authority. Investigative reporter Luke Moretti met with Town of Amherst Building Commissioner Thomas Ketchum. He suspects part of the problem could be clay-type soils that have dried out from the extreme heat this summer.
"When the sidewalk can float with the soil, that's usually not much of a problem," Ketchum said. "But when it's hung up on a manhole cover or a water valve that's when it can cause one of these problems to occur."
Whatever is causing the problem, Delgaudio just wants it fixed before someone takes a spill.
"Why wait for something to happen?" he questioned.
Ketchum said, "Our normal criteria for repair of sidewalks is if there's more than one-half inch vertical differential in elevation. This clearly exceeds that. We do have a problem here. It's just a matter of who takes care of the problem."
The town assures News 4 that Delgaudio's sidewalk and the one up the street will be fixed within the next three weeks. Bob Mendez, executive director of the Erie County Water Authority, told News 4 on Wednesday that he's on top of it and repairs are coming.
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