Last Thursday, Riverhead Town demolished a cupola atop a Baiting Hollow home that town officials said was dangerous and had been built without proper permits back in 2009.
The $32,000 cost of the demolition will be added to the tax bill of homeowner Eugene LaFurno, who had said at a March 21 Town Board meeting that he received an estimate of $5,000 to do the demolition, a much lower price than the $32,000 bid the town chose.
At the time, Supervisor Sean Walter told Mr. LaFurno that if he could get the job done at that price, he should obtain a building permit, and urged him to remove the cupola before the town took action.
In a March 23 letter to the town, Mr. LaFurno said that if the town were to proceed with demolition, he would lose his Founders Path home of more than 38 years because he is disabled and depends on a disability check. There is currently a for sale sign on the property.
The town and Mr. LaFurno have been at odds over the cupola for several years and have even gone to court over his refusal to remove it. Mr. LaFurno was also sentenced and served time to jail for it in 2013.
Photo caption: The house pictured just before the cupola came down. (courtesy photo)