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November 26, 2013 - 9:35am

Pontillo needs to show some respect, and insurance, if he wants permission to go on property, owner's son says

posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford.

The main issue the Englerths have with James Pontillo, Tom Englerth Jr. said in an interview Monday, is that Pontillo has never asked their permission to be on their property to work on his building at the corner of Main Road and Morganville Road in Stafford.

"He never had permission from us as property owners," Englerth said. "One time he asked a guy that worked here (at their tenant's business), but he had no authority to give permission."

Two years ago, police were called to the location when Tom's dad, Tom Englerth Sr., complained that Pontillo and his work crew were trespassing. The same issue came up a little more than a week ago.

Pontillo started restoration work on the building two years ago after outbidding Englerth to purchase the property at auction. At the time, he was talking about opening a pizzeria downstairs, but then worked stalled as he became tied up in personal issues. First, his sister developed cancer and passed away. Then his grandmother had a stroke and later passed away. Then a sink hole developed on one of his properties in the city.

"It's just been one thing after the next," Pontillo said.

Now his permits for putting on a new roof and building a restaurant downstairs have expired. He believes town officials are going to try and deny him new permits.

Englerth said he doesn't believe Pontillo will be able to pull new permits.

If work can resume, Pontillo doesn't believe he can have workers complete the new roof without getting access to the parking lot on the west side of his building, property owned by the Englerths and leased to the Stafford Trading Post.

Tom Englerth Jr. is skeptical his father will ever grant such permission at this juncture.

"He never really respected my dad," Englerth said. "My dad's a tough guy, but he's a nice guy. Once you piss him off, it's hard to gain back the respect from him."

Nothing will happen unless Pontillo can produce proof of insurance, Englerth said.

"He needs appropriate insurance and to show us proof," Englerth said. "He then needs to go to my dad and probably apologize and then ask in a nice way. Can that work? I don't know."

Pontillo believes the only permission he needs, he indicated, is from the owner of the Stafford Trading Post and he believes he's gotten that permission before. He doesn't believe he'll ever get a fair shake from Tom Englerth Sr.

Pontillo thinks Tom Englerth Sr. is still angry that he bought the building and kept Englerth from tearing it down.

Englerth Jr. confirmed that his family wanted to buy the building and they were going to offer to help pay for the historical society to move it to another location in Stafford.

"We're not trying to be jerks," Englerth said. "Since he came in there, he's only made nonsense promises, that he was going to open a restaurant, that he was going to open a pizzeria, he was going to put this place here out of business. He's done nothing for the community I don't think. I don't like to talk about people like that, but it's bullshit. It really is."

Englerth was particularly bothered by some of the comments left on The Batavian insulting his father (two name-calling comments were removed) after last week's story was posted, and he just wanted to set the record straight that his father really is a nice guy and is reasonable if treated fairly.

"We're just old-time farmers looking for what else can we do here and there to make a living," Englerth said. "We have to. Our economy is based on looking at what else you can do to succeed."

david spaulding
david spaulding's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Sep 12 2011 - 5:46pm

i am glad i don't have to deal with neighbors like these two..from my reading in the batavian, the police have been called out there a couple of times....if they get called again, i hope they arrest both parties and let the courts figure out who needs to respect who...

Bob Harker
Bob Harker's picture
Last seen: 4 years 5 months ago
Joined: Aug 20 2009 - 3:12pm

I'm glad we look out for our neighbors and they look out for us. Can't imagine having a "neighborly" relationship like this!

matt burns
matt burns's picture
Last seen: 7 years 2 months ago
Joined: Mar 1 2009 - 3:15pm

pizza anyone ?

bud prevost
bud prevost's picture
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jan 11 2009 - 9:12pm

There is only 1 (one) party in the wrong, and Mr. Pontillo knows who that is. (And it's not E-Properties)

Kyle Couchman
Kyle Couchman's picture
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: Dec 25 2009 - 8:54am

I dont know Bud I was always taught that it takes 2 cheeks to make a complete ass....There seems to be more than enough cheeks on both side of this fence.

Autumn Connolly
Autumn Connolly's picture
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: Jan 30 2010 - 3:59pm

Why move a historical building? Isn't the spot it was built on part of the historical value? I think it is a good idea to just fix it up and use it.

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