WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WKBW) — The decision over an eminent domain has yet to be determined for several Town of West Seneca property owners.
Vice President of Kotecki’s Grandview Grove, Kate Kotecki, is waiting for the ultimate decision by the town board.
“This has been exhausting, liberating and tortuous,” she says.
It’s the proposed eminent domain of her property along with other owners.
A domain that Kotecki says was a threat by the town.
A warning that may have West Seneca seize a portion of their properties.
She tells 7 News reporter Yoselin Person this all started after the town proceeded with a sewer line project in their backyards without notifying her and other owners.
A move, Kotecki says is impacting her 35-year-old family business of hosting weddings and special events.
“We don’t have to get to me losing almost three acres of my property,” Kotecki says. “Conversations, being kind, having respect for one another goes a very long way, and it’s something that this town didn’t have for me since day one.”
An attorney for Kotecki, Ralph Lorigo, who’s known in the Town of West Seneca for over 50 years, explains the moment West Seneca came into the backyards of the owners beginning the sewer project.
“They brought in heavy equipment. Took down trees and raised manholes essentially up nine feet above the ground,” Lorigo says. “Surrounded them with boulders and put a driveway up to the top of these manholes without telling anybody.”
Lorigo says on Monday he received an email from the town’s attorney with a possible resolution.
“So I am hopeful tonight that the town will not vote for an eminent domain,” the attorney says. “They will vote to close the gap between where we are and where they are at this time of time and we will have a resolution that will avert eminent domain.”
The Town of West Seneca supervisor Gary Dickson says this:
But Kotecki is feeling skeptical about the town’s decision since after the public hearing the board went to have an executive session.
“Communications that they will be putting permanent roads and fencing, so I think that’s trying to push me into settlement of things that I don’t want to agree with,” she says.
The supervisor says there are several settlement ideas between the town and the property owners.
“So I think at the end of the day everybody is going to agree that they should drop their lawsuit, and the town will drop the eminent domain proceeding,” he says.
Supervisor Dickson says the board and the property owners like Kotecki will know what the future would hold in a few days.
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