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Schley home bugs out neighbors

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Throggs Neck neighbors are fed up with 3011 Schley Avenue and its absentee owner. According to Ariel Alvarez, the house is a moldy mess and a mosquito nest. Last summer, a sump pump system behind the home broke, causing a flood.

“The house is dilapidated,” Alvarez, a Logan Avenue resident for 17 years, said. “The rain gutters are falling off. The backyard is a swamp. The owner is never around.”

A man who identified himself as the owner and gave only his first name, Jim, visited the property on Thursday, April 2 to repair the home’s front door.

“I’m doing my best,” Jim said. “I want to be a good neighbor. Some people can afford to make immediate repairs. I can’t.”

On February 17, Alvarez and others wrote to Senator Jeffrey Klein and enclosed a 28-signature petition. During the summer, weeds, mosquitoes and rodents colonize Jim’s yard, the letter stated. A retaining wall has begun to shift.

3011 Schley Avenue is a strange house; Jim’s yard sits three feet lower than it should. The sump pump system directs sewage from 3011 Schley up and out. When it breaks, Jim’s yard fills with dirty water. Louie Ragusa lives nearby on Hollywood Avenue.

Mosquitoes breed behind 3011 Schley, Logan resident Nina Pizzo said.

“The mosquitoes are bad,” said Pizzo. “They bite. I have a pool for my grandkids, but I don’t let them use it.”

On March 25, at Klein’s request, the city’s Department of Health inspected 3011 Schley and found “rodent harborage conditions” – debris and tall weeds. DOH ordered the property’s owner to perform a cleanup within five business days. There are no active building or housing violations at 3011 Schley, no tax liens. If the yard floods again this summer, Klein could request an accelerated mortgage.

“I’ll be monitoring the situation closely to make sure the conditions improve,” the senator said.

Jim has cut the weeds and fixed the sump pump.“There’ll be no flood this summer,” he promised. “Even I dislike how the house looks,” he said.

According to the city’s online property register, 3011 Schley belongs to a James E. Mau.

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