Ron Sobczak says he has lived in his St. Boniface Road home in Cheektowaga for 44 years and he has always tried to keep his lawn mowed and his property neat.
But a source of frustration popped up in 1989 when Galleria Drive was built behind his property as an access road for the the Walden Galleria. He says a sloping berm was put in place right at the edge of his backyard. Sobczak says he would simply mow it in the past to reduce the problem of rodents or other animals like woodchucks in the tall grass. But now health issues prevent him from doing so. His grandson has tried to help out but is not always able to do it. It was cut recently by a relative but the grass has not been cut on neighboring properties.
Sobczak has requested help in the past from the Town of Cheektowaga and he says they in turn told him that it was the responsibility of the Galleria Mall...which in turn told him the town was responsible.
After Sobczak's son contacted the 2 On Your Side Tipline we also asked the town supervisor's office and Highway Superintendent about the berm. They told us that it was actually the NFTA's responsibility because town maps show that the transportation authority owns Galleria Drive and the berm. In fact the town requested an easement or legal permission from the NFTA in 2007 to build a sidewalk along the berm and retaining wall which was installed.
An NFTA spokesman says they are looking at that particular area to determine who is really responsible. We will try to see how this works out and if Mr. Sobczak can get some help with mowing that berm.