Too Long To Wait
2018. It promises to be a heckuva year. We’ll be deciding if we want to re-elect Mayor de Blasio or send him to the bin of one-term failures. We’re rooting for his success because otherwise the rest of us will be feeling his missteps. We’ll be two years into a new President in the White House.
And lucky us, we might have a boardwalk (and more) by then. We were at a meeting this week and we heard 2018 might be the year the boardwalk gets finished (assuming permitting gets done and contractors hired). 2018 might be the year the Army Corps gives the green light for jetties (assuming the Reformulation Study gets completed and passes a peer review process that has no built-in deadline). And reimbursements for Build It Back might happen in 2018, too (assuming any money is left in the CDBG pot).
That’s a lot of assuming.
In the meantime, we have to ask, where is the sense of urgency of getting things done? The Gowanus Overpass in Brooklyn was built in two years. The Empire State building was built in a year and 45 days. But this isn’t about the good old days of getting things done. The Barclay Center had its groundbreaking in March 2010 and opened for a spectacular concert in September, 2012. There was a lot more to that job than a boardwalk. Come on!
Technically, the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is in charge of hiring the boardwalk design and construction teams. Don’t they realize 2018 is not economic development but economic strangulation? A lot of Rockaway’s economy is driven by the beach and boardwalk. We’ve got to point this out to them? They don’t know this?
2018 looks like the banner year which gives us more than four years to think about Long Beach. We know it’s a bit like comparing apples and oranges but that boardwalk will be done years before ours. Years.
Build It Back reimbursements are years away, too. And here’s the dilemma a lot of people find themselves in. Their houses need repair right away. If they do it themselves they go the end of the line: they’re put in the “reimbursement” category. Of course, there’s no way to know when you’ll get money for the repair so the choice is wait and hope --- or fix and then wait and hope longer.
Where’s the common sense, where’s the urgency to get things fixed, to get things done?
We have to make noise. They can wait. We can’t. The next Community Board meeting is December 10th.