2012-10-19 / Top Stories

Meeting Over Broad Channel Sewer Project

Assemblyman Goldfeder hosts forum with NYS DEC, DOT and DEP together with community leaders from Broad Channel to discuss sewer connections on Lanark and Church Road. Assemblyman Goldfeder hosts forum with NYS DEC, DOT and DEP together with community leaders from Broad Channel to discuss sewer connections on Lanark and Church Road. Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder recently joined community leaders together with city and state agencies after decades of confusion and frustration expressed by residents regarding the lack of sewer infrastructure on Lanark and Church Road in Broad Channel.

Last week, Goldfeder held a roundtable discussion with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), and local community groups, including Lanark Road Association, Broad Channel Civic Association, Community Board 14, as well as representatives from the elected offices of Councilman Eric Ulrich and Senator Joseph Addabbo.

“Residents of Lanark and Church Road have suffered with this issue for far too long,” said Goldfeder, “It’s time that city and state agencies take responsibility and work together to finally resolve this problem and offer relief to families in need.”

In response to a series of outstanding violations from New York State DEC to local homeowners, collectively totaling over $30,000 per resident, the neighbors of Lanark Road and Church Road formed an alliance and worked with the Broad Channel Civic Association to hold the city accountable for not properly installing sewer lines and grinder pumps to all the homes on Lanark and Church Road as recognized in their homeowner contracts.

The meeting in Goldfeder’s office allowed all the appropriate agencies involved to discuss the past history of the block and find the necessary steps to move forward with the project.

“The Broad Channel Civic Association, the Lanark Road Block Association and the Church Road Block Association want to extend their appreciation to Assemblyman Goldfeder for hosting an interagency meeting on October 10 to address and resolve the bureaucratic red tape that for more than 20 years has prevented the installation of sanitary sewers at these locations,” said Dan Mundy of the Broad Channel Civic Association, “This very productive meeting was a great first step in addressing the failure of responsible city agencies to live up to documented contractual obligations which has resulted in the individual homeowners caught in a frustrating no win situation in which they were held responsible for lapses of city government.

We feel confident that with the Assemblyman’s efforts and assistance, this situation can finally be resolved and the stress and concern that this has unduly caused our residents eliminated once and for all.”

“It’s clear that this is the city’s responsibility, and they need to acknowledge it and move on to design and construction,” said Jonathan Gaska, District Manager of Community Board 14.

The Lanark Road Sewer Project began in the late 1980s due to the neglect by the city to install sewer lines per the agreement after sale of the property to homeowners.

In recent years, New York City DEP claimed they could not install the lines because the block was not on city DOT maps and therefore not within their jurisdiction.

DOT asserted that they could not map these roads because DEC would not allow the alienation of wetlands without proper mitigation.

The only way to resolve this almost 3 decade old problem was to put each agency around the table with the community to end the confusion and finally determine who was actually responsible, added Goldfeder.

“I want to commend everyone who attended this meeting, particularly Dan Mundy, for his tireless work on behalf of the Broad Channel community and Venetia Lannon, regional director of the New York State DEC, for going above and beyond by joining residents on a tour of the sites in question and accepting the immediate responsibility for investigation of the problem,” said Goldfeder.

“Meeting with all the agencies involved on this project was a successful first step and now we can hopefully move forward and have the appropriate sewer infrastructure installed.”

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