After a serious trench collapse that injured a worker Monday, the Town of Thompson, New York has fined a Bobov hasidic bungalow colony for illegally using a synagogue building that lacked an occupancy permit. The town also forbid the bungalow colony to use the synagogue building and barred bungalow colony residents from entering it.
Town of Thompson, NY Supervisor Tony Cellini, left, walks toward the synagogue of Kaufman's Bungalow Colony with Mendel Lerner
After Worker Injured, Town Closes Part Of Illegally Occupied Hasidic Bungalow Colony
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
After a serious trench collapse that injured a worker Monday, the Town of Thompson, New York has fined a Bobov hasidic bungalow colony for illegally using a synagogue building that lacked an occupancy permit. The town also forbid the bungalow colony to use the synagogue building and barred bungalow colony residents from entering it, the Times-Herald Record reported.
Firefighters rescued a worker from the drainage ditch Monday afternoon at Kaufman's Bungalow Colony.
After the collapse, the town’s code inspector found that hasidim were using the newly built synagogue that lacked an occupancy permit and other approvals.
Code Enforcement Officer Logan Ottino told the Times-Herald Record that, besides lacking a certificate of occupancy, the synagogue has several fire code violations.
The Bobov hasidic bungalow colony was reportedly fined $10,000 by the town last week after the town found families illegally living in four units that each lacked a certificate of occupancy.
The buildings, the synagogue, the and the bungalow colony’s pool also apparently lack approval from the state Department of Health. The bungalow colony’s water and sewer systems also lack approval from the town.
"We have been dealing with this colony for a while .They have been fined $10,000 and I have another $10,000 in escrow with a list of conditions that have to be met by 4:30 today. If they haven't completed the work by 4:30, we keep the other $10,000,” Town of Thompson Supervisor Tony Cellini told the Times-Herald Record.
In 2005, the same bungalow colony built an elevated sewer line that Cellini reportedly called then a “water slide for a gerbil."
Several homes at the bungalow colony were built too close together, and the decks on homes are reportedly larger than the permitted size.
Mendel Lerner is the property’s developer. He told the Times-Herald Record that he followed the law but the town "changed the game in the middle of the game."
“Whatever the town asks, we will comply. We are not going against the town,” Lerner claimed.