I attended the Town Hall Meeting at New Dorp High School on Monday that focused on the New Dorp Beach Sewer Project. The meeting was arranged by Council Member James Oddo. His office sent out hundreds of flyers which were supplemented by many door-to-door invitations to attend the meeting from one neighbor to another.
Over a hundred residents attended the meeting. That is an amazingly large number … something every one in the community can feel good about. They heard presentations from the DDC (NYC Department of Design and Construction) and its contractor as well as staff from the Department of Environmental Protection.
Jim Oddo made it clear from the start that this was to be the first of many meetings … that he wanted to get this out in front of people sooner rather than later.
And after a short presentation the floor was opened up for questions and answers.
It quickly became obvious that the attendees were interested in two different water related topics.
First, there was the flooding situation that Roma and Hett endure every time we have a heavy rain. The project that was presented was meant to address that problem. The project will involve many streets between Milton and Cedar Grove from Ebbitts to New Dorp Lane. It will involve storm and sanitary sewers, 3.8 miles of new streets, curbs, sidewalks (where feasible) and lighting. Also involved in this project is the need to bring many of those streets up to the legal grade. (The earlier project around Manila and Weed streets provides an example of what the future will hold for some properties.) Over 400 properties need to be evaluated and it will be March before a more detailed picture is available for these properties. The current timeline for this project reaches out to 2015.
Second, there is the issue of the disappearing beach along the shoreline. And there clearly was a lot of interest and frustration involving this topic. There was also a lot of fear related to the impact of the next big storms that drive the tidal surge against the beach community. This project is the purview of the Army Corps of Engineers and although there was a lot of passion, anxiety and concern about this topic … it was not one that could be addressed by the City Departments in attendance. Council Member Oddo has indicated that he will reach out to the Army Corps of Engineers. My hope is that he will call another meeting, equally advertised, and give our community a chance to ask questions and get a realistic assessment of what they face.
As we become aware of more information on this topic we will put it out here on the blog. The goal of our Association remains keeping you informed about this community. We will share with you what we learn and advocate on your behalf.
Please share your insights and concerns with us. You can reach us through this blog … by email to email@example.com … by calling us at 718-979-6011 … or by snailmail to NDCCA, PO Box 060245, SI, NY 10306.
> Joe Markowski
President, the New Dorp Central Civic Association