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Collier flood victims on their own against developer

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

Collier residents hoping to seek damages from a developer they say exacerbated flooding in July will have to do so on their own, township officials said last week.

Residents in the Cubbage Hill area have been pressing township officials since July to take action against Hiroo Patel and his company, Tri-State Design and Development. They said the Prestley Heights housing development, which straddles the Collier and Carnegie border, caused intense flooding that damaged homes and property.

“We have decided, and this is my advice as solicitor, to not bring claims as a township (against Patel),” said township solicitor Chuck Means.

Patel couldn't be reached for comment.

Residents in attendance at last week's Collier meeting, however, want the township to do more.

Marianne Palombi, of Delfred Drive, said she still is unable to go into her basement, which was damaged during the flooding. She said insurance didn't cover the damage.

“I want it put back the way it was,” she said. “What happened to the township of 20 years ago — that cared about the residents. The township isn't doing anything.”

George Phillips, of Darlington Road, said legal action should be taken.

“What are the commissioners for, then?” he said during the meeting. “Do you have legal rights or not?”

Means said evidence of damage submitted to the township by residents will be available for them to use in any individual legal claims.

Last year, township officials and engineers spelled out a list of actions Patel was to take in order to mitigate runoff from the development. Township engineer Larry Souleret said Patel has completed all but one of the conditions — using cameras to inspect sewer pipes.

Souleret said $54,000 of Patel's bond money had been held pending the repairs and solutions. Approximately $43,000 was released back to Tri-State Design after a unanimous vote at the Feb. 12 commissioners meeting. The rest is being held in case Patel does not perform the sewer camera inspection.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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