Bronx family claims they were left with hefty bill after DOT's repair program

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A Bronx family is questioning the Department of Transportation's sidewalk repair program and say they wish they had a heads up before crews started the work.

Christine Monnelly has lived at the corner of Scott Place and Edison Avenue for nearly 50 years with her mother. She says since Friday, their home has been taken over by construction cones, metal gates and crews redoing portions of the sidewalk.

Monnelly has cerebral palsy that affects the right side of her body. She says the only way she can get in or out of her home now is by walking on a plank.

All of this is for portions of the sidewalk to be redone because DOT says it's necessary. This comes with more than a $6,000 bill attached to it.

In a video taken before the project started, Monnelly admits that there are cracks. However, as city law states her mother, as owner, has always maintained and shoveled in the winter. She says they even filled in cracks when necessary.

"I feel there are a lot worse sidewalks around here that could use repair," said Monnelly.

In February, they received a notice of violation from the DOT informing them that a complaint was made about the sidewalk near their home. After an inspection, the DOT said it found four defects.

Since the homeowners are required to maintain it, it needed to repaired within 75 days or the DOT would do the work and bill them. Monnelly's mother requested a reinspection and in July the DOT said they did one, but nothing has changed.

Last Friday, Monnelly was handed a flyer saying they're starting work and she says she was blindsided. Her mom is at a nursing home recovering from a broken back, but is facing a $6,670 bill for the sidewalk work.

Christine says this is a bill they can't afford. In general, the DOT says property owners are not billed for any tree-related defects, upgrade of pedestrian ramps or replacement of non-defective flags removed.

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