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Friedrich fights citation over co-op’s sidewalks

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Glen Oaks Village President Bob Friedrich is fighting a possible $40,000 violation issued by the city to the co-op for poorly maintained sidewalks, saying there are no problems with the development’s sidewalks.

A city Department of Transportation inspection in mid-November led to the violation.

The agency could not be reached for comment.

“Ironically, the sidewalks in Glen Oaks Village are actually well-maintained,” Friedrich wrote to City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) last week in asking for the legislator to look into the matter. “Incredibly, one of the sidewalk violations issued was for a poorly completed patch job by [the city Department of Environmental Protection], next to a city water valve.”

Friedrich said he recently called the person in charge of the DOT’s Sidewalk Management Division, who said he was aware of the situation and would contact Friedrich to set up a date to reinspect Glen Oaks Village’s sidewalks.

While there technically is no monetary fine for such a violation, the city can hire a local contractor to do the work and then the contractor could subsequently charge the co-op’s residents for the job.

“To spend $40,000 on repairs that don’t need to be made is an unproductive use of resources,” Friedrich said in a phone interview Tuesday.

Friedrich wrote a scathing letter to Weprin dated Dec. 20, accusing the councilman of ignoring Glen Oaks Village’s plight and playing politics because Friedrich ran against him for City Council.

Weprin said he contacted the DOT before he received Friedrich’s letter and said Friedrich had a valid complaint against the possibility of a fine.

The councilman said Friedrich’s “paranoia is setting in” over the Glen Oaks Village president’s belief that he is being slighted.

“We respond to every letter,” Weprin said.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Updated 10:28 am, October 12, 2011
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