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Highland issues consumer alert

By David Hulse
August 28, 2013

After one or more seniors reported a paving contractor who was said to have offered a bargain price on asphalt left over from another job, and then charged thousands of dollars more than anticipated, the Highland Town Board issued a consumer alert last week.

Supervisor Andrew Boyar said he had received a weekend telephone call from a resident reporting an incident with a truck driver operating as Orange County Paving. “The bill was double the expected cost. I’ve heard of another person in Highland charged $21,000, another charged $19,000, another $13,000.”

The alert says that anyone who has paid for work under these circumstances has recourse. “These tactics should be reported to the New York State Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 401, Poughkeepsie NY 12601.”

Consumers can get a formal complaint form online or they can contact Senior Consumer Frauds Representative Stephanie Brideau at 845/485-3951.

Town Clerk Doreen Hanson also has the complaint forms, and said that she would help anyone who needs assistance in filing the complaint. Hanson can be reached at 845/557-6085

Boyar also suggested that anyone who has been excessively billed and not yet paid should not pay that bill. “Then it’s up to the contractor, if he wants to pursue legal action.”

The town’s notice further advises:

“If someone offers you a paving job that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

The Sullivan County District Attorney’s Office suggests the following actions before you allow anyone to work on your property:

€ Get a written estimate. By law all home improvement jobs in excess of $500 must have a written estimate prior to the work being started.

€ Comparison shop; get two or more quotes.

€ Know who you are dealing with. Be aware that there are unscrupulous fly-by-nights in the area.

€ Do not allow yourself to be a victim. If you have been victimized, file a complaint and let others know about your experience.

In other business, the board held a second session of a public hearing on an unsafe building at Washington Lake and scheduled a continuation of the hearing to precede its meeting in September.

They scheduled a 9/11 remembrance program at 7 p.m. at Heroes’ Park on September 10, with the regular board meeting rescheduled to 6 p.m.

They approved a resolution urging support for the state constitutional referendum on casino gambling.

Riverfront revitalization questioned