TOMPKINS: Niagara Falls Veteran House Renovation Complete

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By: Kenny Tompkins

Niagara Falls City Councilman

Given that this is our final update after months of taking you through this journey, I thought it would be smart to give some context about everything we have tried to accomplish.

Timothy and Colleen Degenhardt thought they did their homework when looking for a contractor to build an addition onto their home.

Timothy, a disabled army veteran, has health ailments that limit his ability to use his legs. As a result, the Degenhardt’s were looking to add a bedroom to the back of the house so that Timothy would not have to climb any stairs.

Unfortunately, a project that at first seemed quick and easy did not stay that way for long. The “so-called contractor,” Kyle Edwards, who Colleen calls a “criminal” and a “thief,” took their money and left them with nothing but huge trenches in the ground. Some of which were at least two feet deep.



Degenhardt gave Edwards roughly $12,000 towards the project.

The Degenhardt’s filed in Small Claims Court seeking their $12,000 back, but were ultimately unsuccessful. Despite Edwards not showing up to court, the judge only entered a judgment in their favor for $5,000.

Timothy and Colleen found out the hard way that a judgement and collecting on it are two different things. As a result, not one cent has been collected.

In a true showing of community, numerous businesses have donated their time, supplies and money to make this project a reality.

As this incredible project is winding down, I thought we should list all the companies, wholesaler’s and individuals that contributed to its success. 

Painting of the walls and closet has been done and today the trim is being painted. 2 Guys Construction did a great job on the trim. We were so impressed with their workmanship. Unbeknownst to me, they also purchased all the trim; Brian is really a class act.

IBEW 237, Mike Sieck (spelled it correctly this time, yay me!) and his crew of apprentices finished all the electrical trim and put up a great looking ceiling fan. They also furnished all the electrical fixtures.

H.W. Bryk and Sons installed the heat and air conditioning unit, a Mitsubishi Mini Split that you cannot even hear running. Huge thank you to Aaron Keil for helping us procure this unit. 



Mooradian Rug will be installing the carpeting on November 20th. I have no doubt that it will a great looking rug as this second generation family-owned business has installed carpeting in my own home on more than one occasion. 

We are still looking for someone to build a small ( 4′ x 9′) deck to finish the project completely. I am sure we will have someone step forward soon.

The following is a list of those that have stepped forward. I’m proud to say some are family or like family to me.  Some are companies I work with on an almost daily basis and others I have worked with on occasion over my years in the industry.  The unions that came to me with offers to help this veteran have shown they know the importance of giving back. 

What really amazed me the most was the companies that stepped forward that have no idea who I am; they just wanted to help a veteran in need. 

Please remember these companies when you’re considering a new install or a remodeling project in your own home.

H.W. Bryk and Sons Plumbing and Heating

VP Supply Co.

LaFarge Concrete

Preferred Materials Concrete

Laborers Local 91

Felicetti Concrete Products

Fontanarosa Construction

Cortese Building Solutions

BFH Construction

84 Lumber

Morganti Construction

Weather Panel Supply

Dan Thompson Roofing

Miris Supply

Greater Niagara Building Supply

Big L Distributors

Tomson Windows

IBEW 237 Electrical Union

Graybar Electrical Supply

Gui’s Lumber

Urban Insulators

Shovel Head Stump Grinding

Barone Building Company      (Sonny + Charlie)

Carpenter’s Local 276

Scrufari Construction

Niagara Coatings Services

Henrietta Building Supply

IUPAT District Counsel 4 Painter’s Union

2 Guys Construction

Mooradian Rug Co.

Sherwin Williams

Anonymous Painter

Cataract Lock & Safe

Blue Ox Roofing

Mitsubishi Electric

KJ Enterprise Landscaping

Upstate Systems

David Giusiana Architect

Nicholas D. D’Angelo, Attorney at Law

City of Niagara Falls Code Enforcement

Special thanks go out to Legislator Mark Grozio, Russ Quarantillo, Pat Ciccarelli, Hank Bryk, Jeff Bryk, Peter Fontanarosa, Dick Palladino, Phil Cortese, Brian Markovich and lastly my Dad, Ken Tompkins, Sr.

Without these folks, I never would have been able to complete this project with such quality workmanship and speed.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

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