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Critic wants street paved a third time

John DiGiorgio says a second paving in front of his house is worse than the first. Do it again, his suit demands.

By MATTHEW WAITE, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 10, 2003

NEW PORT RICHEY -- John DiGiorgio fought the city of New Port Richey for eight months over every penny of street assessment money used to pave the street in front of his house.

Now he wants the city to pave it again.

DiGiorgio, two-time City Council candidate and one of the regulars at council meetings, filed a handwritten small claims lawsuit against the city Dec. 30, demanding workers come out and repave the portion of Fleetwood Street in front of his house. The asphalt is coming up in places and is uneven in others, he wrote in the lawsuit.

DiGiorgio and a group of activists battled the city in 2001 over the proposed assessments, over trees and speed bumps the city wanted and the group didn't. After the price went from $2,000 per homeowner to between $550 and $750, the two agreed, and the asphalt was put down.

Months later, DiGiorgio told the city the job was bad. Workers stripped up the asphalt in front of his house and paved it again. DiGiorgio said the second paving made it even worse.

"Mine looks like c---," he said Thursday. "And it's a half-inch below the rest of the street."

City Manager Gerald Seeber and City Attorney Tom Morrison could not be reached Thursday for comment on the lawsuit.

DiGiorgio is asking for $5,000 -- $4,000 to fix the pavement and $1,000 to fix his wife's van windshield, which DiGiorgio said was damaged by a piece of loose asphalt kicked up by a street sweeper.

Last month, DiGiorgio went to the City Council to plead his case, and has written the St. Petersburg Times about the street.

The problem, DiGiorgio said, is that the asphalt in front of his house sits lower than the rest of the street, so water pools there. And, near the edges, the asphalt is coming apart and comes up when the street sweeper goes through, he said.

DiGiorgio said he's only seeking the nicely paved street he paid for.

"That's all I want," he said. "It's not acceptable to my standards."

-- Matthew Waite can be reached in west Pasco at 869-6247, or toll-free at 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6247. His e-mail address is .

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