Merlino & Gonzalez December 2018

Waiting for a Sidewalk Repair? DON’T EXPECT A QUICK RESOLUTION

If you own a property with a sidewalk, you know that public tree roots can cause warps and cracks through no fault of your own. The good news is that the city parks department has the Trees and Sidewalks Program in place to repair these cracks for free. The bad news is that you’re going to be waiting a long time for a fix. One Staten Island resident has been waiting since 2007 for the city to come and fix her sidewalk! Needless to say, that’s not quite overnight service. The reason for the delay is simply that the parks department has many more requests than they can handle. There are currently more than 6,000 outstanding sidewalk repair requests across the five boroughs, with an average of 175 added every week. In an effort to make sure available resources are used as wisely as possible, the city ranks damaged sites based on how urgently they need repairs. In effect, that means you’ll have to wait until the damage is borderline catastrophic before the sidewalk will be fixed.

It still doesn’t hurt to call 311 and have the parks department inspect your property so that you’re on file with the Trees and Sidewalks Program. Unless you want to wait for years for a fix, though, you’ll probably have to hire a contractor to repair the damage. After repairs, you can submit a claim for reimbursement to the comptroller’s office. If the city deems that the damage was the result of a city-owned tree, you may be offered a settlement for reasonable repair costs. Nobody should have to deal with an unsightly, potentially dangerous sidewalk that’s no fault of their own, yet it’s an all-too-common problem on Staten Island. If you’re dealing with such a situation and want to know your options, feel free to give our office a call.

HOLIDAY ROAST PRIME RIB MICHELE’S RECIPE CORNER

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INGREDIENTS

• 1 bone-in prime rib (6–7 pounds) • 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

• 2 cups red wine • 4 cups beef stock

• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

1. 30 minutes before cooking, remove roast from fridge and let sit until it reaches room temperature. 2. Heat oven to 350 F. 3. Make small slits in prime rib and stuff with slices of garlic. Liberally season with salt and pepper. 4. Place a rack inside a roasting pan and roast prime rib for 2 hours, until medium-rare. 5. To make au jus, place roasting pan with drippings from roast over 2 burners on high. Add wine and scrape pan as liquid reduces. Add beef stock and cook until reduced by half. Finally, sprinkle in thyme. 6. Slice roast and serve topped with au jus.

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