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Storage Construction Irks White Plains Block

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Westmoreland Avenue resident Marion Corbett said t he small blaze that broke out at the future Westy Self Storage complex Wednesday was only the latest in a string of construction-related headaches plaguing her neighborhood.

According to Corbett, who has lived most of her life in the 197 Westmoreland Ave. house her parents bought, the construction trailer a few feet away from her home required the attention of the fire department a month ago. About a week later, a concrete explosion from the Westy Self Storage site coated her house and car with concrete. Construction before 8 a.m. has routinely disrupted Corbett's sleep for the past six months, she said.

"They want to buy this house. They sent me a letter. I don't know if they're trying to run me out of here or what. But I'm about sick of this. This house is very sentimental to me," said Corbett, whose boyfriend washed the wet concrete off of her house and car. "My neighbors' roof is completely full of concrete."

The White Plains Fire Department confirmed it was called to 197 Westmoreland Ave. on July 17 to deal with a fallen power line. Construction Manager John Arredondo said the utility line that powers the trailer "combusted" and was replaced the same day. Arredondo also confirmed that a bolt problem later caused the concrete pump truck to "spew out concrete."

Westy Self Storage, which aims to open its 1,000 units of self-storage this November, has handled all related claims, according to Arredondo.

"We have a very good relationship with our neighbors," said Arredondo.

However, not everyone on the block agrees. Leonardo Aviles, 19, said the concrete leak caused significant damage to his yard.

"It's been annoying because they actually broke my mother's windshield and they broke all the tables in the backyard," said Aviles, who has lived on Westmoreland Avenue for about four years.

Other neighbors such as Aurelina Oviedo, 36, said the fumes from the power line combustion scared her children. She also complained that construction work sometimes closed Westmoreland Avenue, forcing her to park elsewhere.

Above all, residents were concerned with the noise.

"I can't blow my horn or mow the lawn before 8 a.m. But (they) get permission to come here at 7 a.m. They make all this noise and wake me up, sometimes before seven," said Corbett. "I called the city and they said, 'Oh, it's construction.'"

Do you live near the Westy Self Storage construction? What are your thoughts on the construction? What do you think of having a self-storage complex in your neighborhood?  Email thoughts to strangle@mainstreetconnect.us and we'll include your responses in future coverage.

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