Thursday night was the meeting of the Croton Facility Monitoring Committee. Chairman Bob Fanuzzi opened the meeting, and the meeting soon got to the good part. Steve Desnayer representing the Parks Department spoke of the projects that the 200 or 240 million in mitigation funds (money promised by Mayor Bloomberg in 2003 to Bronx parks in order so the elected officials of the Bronx would vote to alienate part of Van Cortlandt Park to build the Croton Water Filtration Plant. Mr. Desnayer noted two projects currently in design one at 233rd Street, and the other for enhancing the area around White Plains Road northbound by Pelham Parkway which was being done in conjunction with the DDC rehabilitation of Pelham Parkway. He then mentioned some more projects adding that to date 151 million dollars has been registered. Gary Axelbank (an opponent of the filtration plant since the early 1990's when it was proposed to be built in the Jerome Park Reservoir) stated "according to MOU signed in late 2003 or early 2004 all park projects were to be done within five years or 2009 at the latest, and here we are in 2013 and they are not yet completed".
The next topic was the removal of trees, the construction of the partial jogging path around the JPR, and the replacement of the sidewalk on Sedwick Avenue by DEP and DPR which had over thirty street parking spaces taken away over the memorial Day weekend while no work was being done. Just an apology by the Parks Department rep was given, and that they will try to take less street parking away in the future.
Next came the finding of a violation by one contractor that was discussed as to how the DEP found it out, and why the DEP is asking for a waiver to allow not having a back up generator at the plant. It was said that there was a master electrician on site as required, but that the license he had might not have been up to date.The DEP said that they do not regulate that, but it is the responsibility of the Department of Buildings. The letter requesting a waiver was gone over by the committee members, where as DEP said that it is common for that to happen.
A site visit was requested by Chairman Fanuzzi, and when the DEP tried to stall he said that he wanted it done before the end of the summer or before the next meeting in September not when new members or a new commissioner might be in place.
Neat came the subject of the demolition of two buildings one of which was the Demo Plant that was built next to the JPR to show how the water would be filtered. DEP said that asbestos had to be removedfrom both buildings, but I asked how could the DEP have used Asbestos in a building that was built around 1990 when asbestos was banned in 1978. The few DEP personal looked at each other and could not answer the question.
The final topic was the start of construction on the corner of Sedwick Ave. and Goulden Ave. This will force the closure again of Goulden Ave. between 205th Street and Sedwick Ave. and the closing of all but one lane on Sedwick Ave. heading towards Mosholu Parkway. This construction will start as of June 27th and go through August 31st.
The next meeting of the CFMC was then scheduled for Thursday Sept 12th.