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November 16, 2013 - 1:13pm

Owner of one of Stafford's historic buildings says neighbor preventing restoration work

posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, preservation, James Pontillo.

It's a beautiful day. Maybe one of the last great days to get outdoor projects done before winter hits. At least that's what James Pontillo had in mind when he pulled a high lift into the parking lot of Stafford Trading Post (he says with the shop owner's permission) so he could work on his building at the corner of Main and Morganville roads.

By now, today's roof work and gutter repair would be done, Pontillo said, if not for the trespassing complaint leveled at him by neighboring property owner Tom Englerth.

A deputy has been to the property twice today. The first time after Pontillo parked the high lift in the parking lot, the second time after he parked it in front of the parking lot. Pontillo contends that area is owned by the State of New York, not Englerth. Englerth apparently contends he controls it.

Englerth was no longer on site by the time The Batavian arrived this afternoon.

Pontillo half expected to be arrested and charged with trespassing.

Deputy Brad Mazur told Pontillo it's a complex situation given the nature of the property and the state highway right-of-way issue. He said he would need to consult with the District Attorney's Office.

Meanwhile, Pontillo has a storm drain he is worried might fall and hurt somebody, and a roof he wants to finish replacing on an arguably historically significant building and he's being prevented, he said, from getting the work done.

Previously: Fences, and more, divide business neighbors in Stafford

Jerry Buckman
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I wonder why Englerth filed charges?

mark dickes
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my family will never go there again....

Tim Miller
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Granted, we are hearing one side of the story, but it seems like Englerth is a prime example of why fences make good neighbors...

Jim Rosenbeck
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I come to The Batavian for the colorful vernacular :-)

Gary Spencer
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I thought we wasn't supposed to call nobody no naughty names!
It's sad that although Mr. Englirth ownes the building where The Stafford Trading post is, it is Shelly Mourey who runs the buisness and if people boycott it is her that suffers!

Howard B. Owens
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Name calling post deleted.

Also, Bob, to be clear, Tom Englirth does NOT own the trading post. He owns the property, but not the business.

Mark Potwora
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Comment #3 seemed like name calling...Always two side to every story..In this case we are only getting one side.............

Howard B. Owens
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I missed the final sentence of comment #3, so as soon as I post this, I'm deleting it.

Kelly Hansen
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I'm concerned about the effect this will have on the Trading Post as they are very hardworking folks who provide a great service to the community. I'm not sure people realize that the proprietors are not the ones failing to be neighborly. Life's short and people with a 'chip on their shoulder' aren't making a good use of their time. Let the man repair that eye-sore of a building and when you drive by the Stafford Trading Post, stop in for their special of the day.

Bob Price
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Why should Tom let Mr.Pontillo on his property? Jim should've known boundaries of property when he purchased the old trading post. What would happen if something went wrong when Mr.Pontillo was in high lift-like something falling off of it onto a customer or a vehicle in the STP parking lot? Shelley and Tom would probably be held liable(their business and property)-and we all know how sue-happy this country is nowadays. Isn't there any buffer space that isn't Tom's on west side of building to set up scaffolding instead?

John Simmons
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Well, When all is said & done, I'll decided whether I want to shop at either place.. The pizza isn't really the best I hace ever had at the trading post OR Pontillo's either, & IF I can't park right near the door, I'll just go elsewhere.. I dunno how much Pontillo's would do business wise if he has no parking lot to speak of.. But, I wouldn't go there just to get a pizza & go eat it in my truck

Never should have been a sale of the building to someone other than the person owning the property.. I had rented a place like that before we boiuth our house, what a F'in nightmare it was..

DOUGLAS MCCLURG
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Can't we all get along and make the gutters of society better?

John Woodworth JR
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Did anyone bother to ask if, Mr. Pontillo asked Mr. Englerth for permission? I am guessing no. Mr. Pontillo is not as innocent as one may think. There is a history between these two and those who think Mr. Englerth is being unreasonable, you may be surprise by some of the past conduct of the other party. Mr. Pontillo can just as easily set up scaffolding to conduct repairs. I am not taking sizes but, courtesy could go a long ways.

John Woodworth JR
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Hello Bob, you know as well as I do that, MR. Pontillo is not known to be the most law abiding man there is. I agree with you that, lawyers would find a way to collect from Tom as property owner if, something happen due to MR. Pontillo's neglect.

There appears to be enough space to set up scaffolding but, MR Pontillo seems to prefer the other approach and not concerned with causing an inconvenience to someone else's business. Judging from the negatives on your comment I am guessing there are several who are also, not concerned with the inconvenience that it will cause.

Ed Hartgrove
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Darn it! I missed the BOGO sale on commas, again!
But, as far as I can tell, there was no manual on proper usage packaged with them, so I guess I didn't miss much.

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