BOSTON, N.Y. -- Officials in the Town of Boston are speaking out about the lawsuit the town is facing.
They are being accused of housing decimation for holding up a group home the state wants Community Services to build there.
"That's a section of town where there are no grocery stores, there are no restaurants, there is no employment…there are no sidewalks,” explained Boston Town Attorney Michael Kobiolka.
He and Town Supervisor Marty Ballowe maintain their stance that the top of Cole and Omphalius Roads is not the right place to house four adults with developmental disabilities.
They plan to fight the federal lawsuit Community Services has filed, which alleges Boston is discriminating against fair housing.
“To file a lawsuit saying we have...is not really fair to the citizens of Boston. So whatever the town has to do to be sure that that's clear on the record, I’m sure the residents support it,” said Kobiolka.
Boston leaders say they've made alternative site suggestions along Boston State Road within town limits.
"We do have other areas of the town which would be more appropriate, which would be safer for the residents,” said Kobiolka. “The town is always willing to sit down and talk to them, and the supervisor had made overtures to the state for other provisions, which were promptly rejected."
The president of Community Services declined to answer three questions submitted by Channel 2, and instead provided the following statement.
President and CEO Mindy Cervoni wrote by e-mail, "Our lawsuit speaks for itself. We have a great housing need in our community for people with disabilities. Community Services commits to helping people gain access to the housing they deserve."
The lawsuit also alleges that Boston has refused to issue a building permit for land Community Services purchased on the hill.
"They never filed for a building permit. They have never submitted plans for a building, site plans....so those steps were never taken,” said Ballowe. "You cannot refuse something that wasn't filed for."
Meanwhile, so long as Boston sees this lawsuit through, the town has to foot the bill.
Ballowe couldn't speak to the cost so far but did say he believes there's strong support for this use of town funds.
"I'm sure as you see, the turnouts that come out to the meetings, or meetings up on Cole and Omphalius; these people support that,” Ballowe said.
Ballowe also points out that many residents who live on the Boston hills followed all zoning laws to build the homes they have now. He says residents have expressed to him that they feel it is unfair that Community Services isn’t being held to the same laws and criteria.
Channel 2 learned today this is actually the second lawsuit filed over this matter. Boston is the plaintiff in a lawsuit filed in 2015. Community Services is the plaintiff in the federal lawsuit filed earlier this month.