Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
January 22, 2010 Issue
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Reprieve from fines?

By Dan Hust
WURTSBORO — Even though stricken with lung cancer and debilitated by chemotherapy treatments, Bloomingburg resident Ralph Broeckel showed up Tuesday evening at the Mamakating Town Hall in Wurtsboro.
There he quietly pleaded his case with town board members, who listened during a worksession preceding the main board meeting.
“It went alright,” Supervisor Bob Fiore remarked. “We’re in the midst now of seeing what we can do for him.”
Fiore, however, has told Broeckel in the past that finishing his basement without the proper permit is a violation of the town’s building code, and he stuck to that assessment this week.
“The board follows the law,” Fiore said, and even though trustees don’t mean to be callous or indifferent, he said the rules are clear and cannot be bent simply to accommodate someone in trying circumstances.
Broeckel, however, realizes that his family can’t sell the home after he dies without ensuring it is code-compliant, so he has expressed willingness to pay what the town asks him to pay.
He’s just hoping that will be less than the $1,581 bill he received a few weeks ago, much of which consists of a doubling of the permit fee – the fine for not getting it at the proper time and in the proper manner.
Fiore indicated Broeckel may get some relief.
“We’ll probably have an outcome that’s less draconian than what that fine is,” the supervisor predicted.

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