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Mysterious Pipe an Enigma for Pleasantville Family

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Leland Avenue residents John and Lenore D'Arco returned to Village Hall on Monday night to once again express their frustration with drainage issues resulting from a public pipe in their backyard.

After doing research on the pipe, the Pleasantville Board of Trustees said repairing the pipe would require a bond issue of nearly $400,000 from the village, which trustees seemed hesitant to spend.

"The solution to spend $400,000 on it, in my opinion, is a nonstarter. Not in this budget cycle," said Trustee Jonathan Cunningham. "We need to come up with another solution. If it's $400,000 or nothing? I don't know what to tell you."

Mayor Peter Scherer, however, said the board has not held a discussion on the bond, which would require four votes to pass. Trustee Mindy Berard said she would like to see more research on the pipe before approving such a costly bond. 

"It breaks my heart. You guys are very near and dear to my heart. This is very hard for me," Berard said. "Before I open up a street, and before spending any kind of money like that, I want to know what the heck we're getting ourselves into." 

The pipe is an enigma for both the trustees and the D'Arcos, as officials claim it is not village property. While water is flowing through the pipe, the source has not been pinpointed.

"That pipe doesn't belong to us," Lenore D'Arco said. "You claim it doesn't belong to you, but there's public water going through my property and through my house. I never get upset. I am upset now."

Scherer said that despite wanting to assist the Pleasantville residents, the trustees are under no obligation to repair the pipe. 

"We have every right to say, hypothetically, 'We didn't put it there, you deal with it,' " Scherer said. "I'm afraid you have purchased a property that has a pre-existing condition and a pre-existing, though unknown to you, public piece of infrastructure."

Scherer said it is difficult for the board to have any discussion on spending money for capital projects before putting a budget in place for 2012-13.

"It is not a no. We don't have enough information," Scherer said. "These things just don't happen overnight, unfortunately. When you're spending public funds to do these kinds of things, it takes a long time."

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