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CBS2 Demanding Answers: Neighbors Say Abandoned Moonachie House Is Spoiling Community

MOONACHIE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Residents of a New Jersey neighborhood are fed up, complaining that their borough has done little to address a mess at an abandoned home that was flooded during Superstorm Sandy.

As CBS2's Valerie Castro reported, the home at 10 Monte Pl. in the borough of Moonachie leaves a lot to be desired.

The owner said it was heavily damaged during Sandy nearly four years ago, and since then, he has waited for help from government agencies and insurance companies to make repairs.

In the meantime, neighbors said they have had enough.

"We can't stay outside," said neighbor Diane Cario. "We get bit. We get bit by mosquitoes."

Cario said she has begged the borough over the last several years to step in and force the owner to clean things up.

"One day is too long when you live next to a piece of property that's like this," said Moonachie Mayor Dennis Vaccaro.

Vaccaro said the owner recently paid a $500 fine and has made efforts to clean the property in the past.

"He promised the judge he would clean up," Vaccaro said. "Now he hasn't cleaned up, so now the borough needs to step in again."

The mayor said an orange notice was placed on the home Tuesday night, declaring it unfit for human occupancy.

Later, a letter was posted giving the homeowner until Sunday, Aug. 21 to cut the grass and clear the debris.

If that does not happen, Vaccaro said the borough will step in and do the work.

The cost will be at the owner's expense or a lien will be placed on the property.

Neighbors said they have waited far too long.

"Three years battling this," Cario said. "We keep our houses maintained, our lawns. We take pride in our house, and then this person here just disregards everything."

When asked when residents can expect to see the property cleaned up, Vaccaro said, "I'm hoping within the next week or so."

The homeowner told CBS2's Castro by phone that he has been dealing with family health issues and financial trouble – all the while trying to have the home cleaned up.

The homeowner also has a second property in Moonachie. He said that one was also damaged during Superstorm Sandy.

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