Hank Iori, President BHPOA
Street and Sidewalk Restoration Project on the Beach Blocks from 127th to 149th Street
The reconstruction of the sidewalks and streets on the beach blocks from 149th to 127th has been a collaborative effort of several of our government departments. Funded by FEMA, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Design and Construction have been leading the effort since last March. When the work initially started, the New York City’s Department of Environmental Conservation requested that the majority of the water mains on the beach blocks be replaced. In addition, the National Grid also requested that several of the gas valves on the blocks be replaced.
The original FEMA contract did not treat each block the same. The asphalt and concrete on each block was to be replaced differently. The Belle Harbor Property Association pointed out that these plans would create a patchwork of asphalting on each beach block. I asked that they reconsider the original plans and instead redo the asphalt on each block entirely.
With the work on the water mains and the gas valves to be added to the original FEMA contract additional funding was needed. Together the Department of Conversation and the National Grid provided the funding that allowed for the additional work. However, this funding did not allow for each block’s asphalt to be redone entirely. The DOT then stepped in to provide the funding so that the asphalt could be replaced entirely on each block. It is anticipated that the work will be completed by early November.
Poles and Wires
Last June, the Belle Harbor Property Owners Association reached out to Dan Brown, Assistant to Borough President Malinda Katz, to address the issue of electricity poles, wires and cables in our community. Many poles in our community have wires that hang below the required 16&1/2 feet height. There are also wires that are no longer in use and cables that are no longer active.
Dan organized a meeting with representatives from Public Service Electricity and Gas (PSE&G), Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Verizon on July 7th. We learned that PSE&G is responsible for some of the poles, while Verizon and TWC are responsible for others. Our community requested that unused poles be removed and all wires be hung to the required height. This was agreed to by all parties.
The plans are already in motion. TWC has removed their unused wires and properly secured their wires to the poles and to the homes that they provide service. PSE&G and Verizon have plans to remove unused poles. Verizon also intends to remove all the copper and fiber optic wires that are unused. The current plan is to have the beach blocks completed by December before completing thwork on the additional blocks.
The plantings by the beach walls enhance the beauty of our community and are an extension of all of our homes. The dues paid to the Association has allowed us to fund the purchase, care and maintenance of plants in planters along the beach walls of our eleven blocks. The budget includes the planting and the installation of a drip hose system for the watering of the plants.
The BHPOA asked homeowners by the beach entry if they would supply water for the plants. The individuals I approached on each block were very receptive to helping. Clearly, we are a community of individuals that are resilient and provide a helping hand to others when needed.
I would like to thank the individuals who have agreed to provide water for the planters: 141st Street – Susan Savino & George Clark; 140th Street – Brian Elgart; 139th Street – Sam & Maria Said; 138th Street – Dino Trivlis; 137th Street – Dino & Kathleen Tomassetti; 136th Street – Ken Austin; 135th Street – Joel & Lilli Radmin; 133rd Street – Nick DeBlasi and James Brennan. There are four remaining beach blocks that are still under construction. Once completed, I will be looking for residents on those blocks to help with the watering the plants.
The beach blocks that are currently under construction are: 133rd, 132nd, 131st, 130th, and 129th. I anticipate these to be completed by the end of August.
The remaining blocks that need to be completed include: 127th, 128th, 142nd, 147th, and 149th.
In addition, all of the 23 beach blocks will receive new LED street lighting. The bumpers will be painted on the new fire hydrants and the caulking will be placed in the seams of all the new sidewalk concrete.
I would like to thank many of our supporters and collaborators in these efforts:
- Mayor Bill DeBlasio
- Polly Trottenburg, City Commissioner of the DOT
- Nicole Garcia, DOT Queens Borough Commissioner
- Feniosky Pena-Mora, Commissioner of New York City Department of Design and Construction
- Phillip Goldfeder, Assemblyman
- Eric Ulrich, City Councilman
- Amanda Agoglia, President of the Neponsit Property Owners Association
Noreen Ellis, President of Rockaway Civics Association