Submitted by ub on Mon, 07/29/2013 - 10:12

The City Island Civic Association will be meeting on Tuesday, July 30th at 7:30pm at 190 Fordham Street.

CICA will have two guests at the next meeting, former Congressman Anthony Weiner and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Both are candidates to be the next Mayor of New York City.

Letters were sent to all announced candidates as of 04/30/2013. So far, the only announced candidate to attend has been Adolfo Carrion, Island resident and Independence Party nominee. City Comptroller John Liu also attended our January meeting, before he declared his candidacy.

The construction company Tutor Perini has been selected to construct the proposed 150 foot cable stayed bridge at a cost of $102 million (over four times its original cost!). The design was presented, placed out to bid and approved without any sort of community input or consultation. The bridge was originally designed as a showcase for Mayor Michael Bloomberg's bid for New York City to host the 2012 Olympics. The City didn't get the Olympics, and somehow we got stuck with this bridge. Any and all efforts to engage the New York City Department of Transportation on this issue has fallen on deaf ears. The project has been sent to Comptroller Liu's desk.

Keep in mind, no building on City Island can be built larger than 35 feet, per NYC zoning law. We were given this designation back in the 1970s to preserve the unique characteristics of our community (low-rise single family homes, small shops and storefronts that resemble a nautical
theme). This bridge will be used by every developer in the future as an example of why they should be allowed to exceed the zoning requirements and void the existing law (one example of this is the Italian American Nursing Home).

Many Islanders have expressed frustration with recent incidents where homes were left without or with extremely limited power. The Civic leadership has spoken extensively to Con Edison about the problem. Over the July 4th weekend, one of their power feeders had to be shut down due to a defective line. Con Ed advised it was a record-breaking weekend for their company. We have been notified that additional improvements will be undertaken in two months' time. However, residents are only entitled to a refund if their power actually goes out.

The Italian Hospital Society has requested an extension from the Board of Standards and Appeals so they can submit a smaller project. We will continue to track all developments and will report back when a new submission has been received.

After our guests have spoken, and our officers have given their reports, we will have an open floor for residents to address any new or ongoing concerns. Please bring any concerns you may have before the Association's next meeting so we can work together to correct any issues and continue to improve our neighborhood.

Minutes of June 30th, 2013:

The meeting was brought to order at 7:40 p.m. The reading of the May minutes was waived; the minutes were accepted as distributed. The treasurer reported that there was $12,138.67 in the Civic account.

There were at least 50 Islanders present at the public hearing of the Board of Standards and Appeals on June 11 regarding Dr. Mignone's assisted-living facility project for Schofield Street. The BSA essentially told Dr. Mignone's attorney to go back to square one and revise the submission, to provide a financial analysis of the project, and to make the project compatible with City Island Special District Zoning. They were given a deadline of July 26 for the new submission, with another hearing scheduled for September.
Our attorney and those who spoke for the Civic did a great job, and we were heard! We will need to continue with our fundraising to support the legal battle.

The City Island ladder company will not be threatened with closure in the mayor's budget for the new fiscal year, according to Councilman Jimmy Vacca.

Paul Nani has resigned as Traffic Committee chair; he did an excellent job addressing the traffic issues and coordinating with the 45th precinct. We are looking for another volunteer to take over this role and in the meantime will write him a letter to thank him for his service.

Traffic agents and police officers have been managing the traffic. Since Tony's Pier is still closed, traffic going to the end of the island is very congested and does not seem to be getting sufficient attention from the traffic cops. Dirt bikes have also been ridden on sidewalks and in the fire lane, and police did confiscate some of the bikes. Residents are encouraged to call 311 and then send the reference number to the Civic's email address.

Christine Quinn's campaign has said she will come to the July meeting.

The new bridge design, City Island zoning and traffic are among the issues we will ask her to address.

The post office will not close, but the mail carriers will be dispatched from Coop City. Please report any unusual behavior of postal employees to the post office manager.

At 560 Minnieford Street, the residentially zoned lot is being used as a parking facility for the Island Current fishing boats. A letter has been sent to the Dept of Buildings, and the 45th precinct is aware of the issue. As with traffic, 311 calls are a factor in getting attention for these types of issues. Neighbors have complained about excessive noise in the early mornings and late at night on weekends. Community Board 10 will also be alerted. A motion was made, seconded, and passed to send a letter to the Department of Buildings about this issue.
No contract has as yet been signed for the new bridge, and we will ask the comptroller's office for an update.

We would like to delay the project as long as possible so that a new mayor may be more sympathetic to residents. DOT has said that the Civic Association approved this design long ago but that did not happen. It is expected that they will begin construction of the temporary bridge in the fall.

The Belden Point Parks Dept. project is scheduled to begin soon. The pilings need to be shaved down, which is not in the budget, so a motion was made, seconded, and carried to contribute one third of the cost to complete this work. Another Parks Dept. issue is that there is no walkway along Orchard Beach Road and pedestrians have been using the roadway, which is very dangerous.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 PM.

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