Katz said she has lost boilers, a washer, a dryer and a refrigerator as well as irreplaceable items including family photos, Hebrew books and photos from the Holocaust due to the sewage troubles. She said she spent close to $20,000 to install a sump pump nearly four years ago, and plans to have a backup generator put in by June 1 so the pump can operate during a power outage.
“I emotionally and financially cannot do this anymore,” she said. “I’ve changed my boiler four times in the last five years. Everything in my basement is new, but it only looks pretty for five minutes.”
Muriel Avenue resident Jeff Moskovic, like Katz, has spent many thousands of dollars repeatedly replacing appliances and repairing his basement, he says. “I don’t get reimbursed by my insurance company,” Moskovic said. “I have French drains and four sump pumps to keep it dry. It’s not a drainage issue — this is something above and beyond that. I also have replacement pumps if the pumps fail. It’s almost a mini-career getting the water out of the basement.”
According to Moskovic, the sewage issues have been getting worse in recent years. “What were they doing until now?” he said of the village. “This is devaluing our homes. People don’t want to live in an area where you have to have a paddleboat ready at all times when it rains. We have to be able to live in this area if they want us to pay taxes.”
Moskovic said he would like the village to hire an independent group to study the area in order to come up with an economically feasible solution. “Even if they have to borrow money to fix this problem, it should be made a priority,” he said. “I’m not the only one; it’s not an isolated issue. It’s a Five Towns problem.”
“No one knows how to fix it,” Katz said. “Everyone needs help and no one is telling the truth.”