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Town targets flies at Massapequa eatery

After neighbors of Cafe Toscano in Massapequa complained about clouds of flies and open trash containers at the restaurant's garbage storage area, county and town officials on Monday issued violation notices to the eatery.

Town Supervisor John Venditto, who lives in the neighborhood and visited the scene Monday and again Tuesday, said he had town employees Monday clean up the trash in open storage containers behind the restaurant on North Broadway.

By the time county inspectors returned Tuesday, the old storage container had been removed and the restaurant said a new one had been ordered, according to Mary Ellen Laurain of the health department.

But while the storage area was relatively clean Tuesday, hundreds of flies were visible around neighbors' properties just 50 feet away and hundreds more were inside fly traps hung on fences dividing the properties by neighbors who said they couldn't stay outside their homes because of the infestation.

Venditto said the town has arranged to bring in an exterminator Wednesday to kill off the flies and said it might be better after that for neighbors to remove their traps because the bait in them might be keeping the flies around even though their source of food in the trash area was now gone.

The neighbors said the town should make the restaurant pay for the cleanup and reimburse them for hundreds of dollars worth of fly traps. Venditto said the town will look into that.

Employees at the restaurant said the owner and manager were not working Tuesday so no one could comment.

The county said the case was closed after the cleanup, but a town spokesman said the restaurant would still have to appear in court to answer town charges of having open and overflowing garbage receptacles.

Neighbor Wayne Clementi said the problem should be solved after the exterminator comes. "It seems like there were a lot less flies after they took the Dumpster away last night and scraped up the grease. A couple of days will tell. We will see about that after the spraying."

Residents said when they complained to the restaurant management about overflowing trash bins, the restaurant put out more receptacles, but those soon overflowed, too, and nothing was done about the flies.

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