BUFFALO, N.Y. — Diane Lemanski and Ken Bachmann have lived on Peabody Street in Buffalo's Seneca-Babcock neighborhood for decades.
"I'm never leaving; I was here first, and I'll be last," says Lemanski.
They're trying to find a solution for the eyesore in their backyards.
"It's almost upsetting when you come off the North 190 here; the first thing you would see is this property over the throughway with garbage," Bachmann angrily says.
The two neighbors say, Peter Battaglia, the owner of Battaglia Demolition, has neglected to clear the land after a building on the property was destroyed in 2018.
Failure to clean it up led to people illegally using it as a waste dump which attracted rats.
"The rats are still here; they still come in our homes; I've had to kill two in my home. My dogs have probably killed about 20, and I've also lost two dogs from being attacked by rats here," Bachmann says.
Neighbors complained to the city but say their pleas for help fell on deaf ears. Lemanski says the city recommends she put up a guard. But there's another problem; leftover concrete was illegally crushed. The state is demanding the city pay to clean it up within 30 days.
The cost is $150 thousand; Council member Brian Bollman says Battaglia will reimburse the city.
"When the concrete is crushed, dust is thrown in the air. In particularly silica dust," says Chris Murawski with the Clean Air Coalition.
So, until the trash is picked up and the debris cleared from the lot, Lemanski and Bachmann will continue fighting until they get the results they want.
"We love living here, but it's a constant fight," Bachmann says.
"Nothing ever happens to him. We're the ones paying the price," says Lemanski.