Submitted by ub on Sun, 02/24/2013 - 13:07

The Association will be meeting Tuesday February 26th 2013at 7:30pm at 190 Fordham Street.

It was announced this evening that Tutor Perini Corporation was the lowest bidder on the $102.7 million replacement project for the City Island Bridge. The award is still pending and a contract has not been issued. However this could move very quickly as according to the company’s press release: work is expected to begin in April 2013 with substantial completion expected by July 2016. We will continue to work with our elected representatives including Comptroller John Liu, Borough President Diaz, and Councilman James Vacca to oppose this project at every possible turn. Many of you voiced your concerns personally to the Comptroller at our last membership meeting.

We will have updates from all standing committees including Crime, Quality of Life, Development and Traffic.

Barbara Dolensek will be honored at this year’s 45th Precinct Community Council Breakfast! The event will take place Wednesday, May 8th 8:30 – 11:00 AM at the Villa Barone Manor (737 Throggs Neck Expressway Bronx, NY 10465). Barbara has done a tremendous deal for City Island over the years, so please make every effort to attend. Tickets will be $15 and a buffet breakfast is included in that cost.

It would appear that Ladder 53 is again at risk in this year’s City Budget. As always we’ll work with Councilman Vacca and others to oppose this foolish cut. On the Brightside, this will be the last year the current Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg will be able to threaten this cut and we have faith his successor,whoever he or she may be, will not attempt this foolish and dangerous tactic in future budget negotiations.

There is no update on the proposed development for 162 Schofield Street being brought by the Italian Hospital Society. We continue to monitor this project very closely.

Congratulations to Assemblyman Michael Benedetto who has been appointed Chairman of the New York State Assembly Veterans Committee.

Please bring any concerns you may have before the Association next meeting so we can work together to correct any issues and continue to improve our neighborhood.

Minutes for the Meeting Held January 29, 2013

The meeting was called to order in the City Island Nautical Museum at 7:45 pm. The reading of the minutes of the November meeting was waived and the minutes approved as distributed.

Joyce White, representing the NY State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) addressed the meeting. She explained that the adult facility near Cross Street on City Island will open next month. Clients will come into the office to register and then go out into the community to perform jobs as volunteers; the program is for learning and training; clients are strictly supervised and are never sent out on their own and during periods of inclement weather they will be kept indoors. There will be a staff of eight. No Parking signs have been posted in front of the building because there is no way to safely discharge clients at the side street and because clients are dropped off and may come and go at various times during the day. The American Legion was not approached for parking accommodation but may be in the future. This group of clients has been selected from the existing populations at other locations and will be bused in and out daily. It is hoped that some clients or staff may also come from the City Island community in the future.

John Liu, New York City’s comptroller, addressed the meeting. As chief financial officer for the city, his job is to eliminate waste, and the city has saved close to $4 billion dollars in the current budget. His job is to reduce spending so that the city can pay for critical services that are needed. The easily accessible makes available to the public information about how the city spends its money; it is intended to make the city more accountable and to help save money. Even 1 percent of the ecity budget is $170 million. We need to reduce outstanding city debt and pay for schools, roads and bridges. The total assets of pension funds have increased 50 percent during his tenure. In 2000, the city contracted with a firm, SAIC, to develop a city employee payroll system, City Time, for $73 million, but the project ballooned to $700 million, was very late and went completely out of control. Mr. Liu, who became comptroller in 2010, was highly critical of this project, and eventually, in 2012, In order to avoid federal prosecution, the company agreed to pay $500 million back to the city. In another case, involving the 911 project, the comptroller’s office found that the city was inappropriately billed for at least $2.5 million.

The DOT’s City Island bridge project, which is to cost $150 million ($100 million more than originally estimated), failed to undertake the ULURP process for an aspect of the project, and Mr. Liu has indicated his support for the community. Although DOT does not want to change the bridge design, he understands that it is out of sync with the size and scope and character of City Island. For the past four years we have been in a battle to keep the Ladder 53 and we have had to fight for this every year. It is sometimes necessary to look at the budget and refinance in order to find extra money to fund certain services. The total saving for shutting or reducing 20 fire houses would be $40 million.

The membership was asked to vote to have the Civic send letters as follows: To ask the NYS Department of Health to deny permits to Dr. Mignone’s request to build an assisted living facility (motion passed). and to request that the Westchester Square Hospital, now owned by Montefiore, retain its nursing staff (also passed).

The PTA is holding a fund-raising card party on March 8, and it was voted that the Civic put an ad in the journal.

Concern was expressed that Magikal Dreams, in the building once occupied by Systems 2000, has statues in the window that make some people uneasy; The Chamber will investigate. Another issue raised was concern about the automated meter reading that Con Ed is installing and whether there are environmental issues because of radiation emission. The membership was reminded that the Department of Sanitation requires everyone to clear their sidewalks of snow after storms or risk a $100 fine. The Rodman’s Neck police firing range will not be constructed until at least 2014.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

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