Friday, January 17, 2014

Broad Channel Civic Association - January 2014 Newsletter - President's Message


This issue of the Newsletter is sponsored by
Hillerbrand Funeral Home

American Legion Hall - Cross Bay Boulevard – 7:00 PM
January 22, 2014
President’s Message

January’s Civic meeting will be held on Wednesday January 22nd at 7 PM and will see a presentation by DOT and DDC on the West 11th, 12th and 13th Roads street raising project. This project has received the final approvals from the Office of Management and Budget which is the final step in seeing the project actually funded. At this point a contractor has been chosen and construction is scheduled to start this Spring. This is an exciting project that has seen tremendous community input and will hopefully eliminate much of the tidal flooding that these blocks are experiencing. We will be discussing the formation of a liaison committee that has been formed that will help to quickly address any issues that come up during the various stages of construction. All residents of the community are encouraged to come down and listen to this latest update on this project which we hope to expand to additional blocks. In particular those residents of the affected blocks should try to attend if possible.
The second portion of the January Civic Meeting will be devoted to the Participatory Budget program. This process allows for residents of Broad Channel to weigh-in on how they would like to see up to one million dollars of Councilman Ulrich’s discretionary funding spent. In the past, Broad Channel has been heavily involved in this process and has seen some great projects funded, such as the Smart Boards for PS 47 students.  We hope that our residents will again get involved and make their voices heard as to what projects they would like to see funded in Broad Channel.
The NY Rising Project for Broad Channel continues to make progress. I want to thank the committee members who have been attending the very numerous meetings throughout the Summer, Fall and Winter in an effort to produce a number of projects for this town which will hopefully be approved for funding. These residents have given up numerous evenings to meet with the state team in order to develop plans and meet the mandates of the program in a hope that some positive projects can be funded for our town. There is some confusion regarding this program as NY State also named the Federal Relief Fund for Long Island the NY Rising Program. That program on the Island is the equivalent of the NYC Build it Back Program and will see funds ultimately go directly to homeowners for rebuilding or repairs. In NYC the NY Rising Program cannot fund individuals, but only fund community projects that will make the town more resilient in the event of future storms. The next meeting of the NY Rising for Broad Channel is on January 21st at 7 PM at the American Legion. We will have tables set up that will highlight the details developed to date for each of the proposed projects.
On the Flood Insurance Reform issue there has been some positive developments in a Bill has been created in the Senate with bipartisan support that could go up for a vote as early as the week of the 13th of January. This Bill would stop flood insurance increases on primary homes for four years while FEMA conducts the Affordability Study that they were initially mandated to do but which they refused to. This Bill, at this time, has a good chance of passing in the Senate. A similar Bill has been crafted in the House, with the assistance of Congressman Meeks, and that will be a greater challenge to pass. We want to thank local resident Sophia Valakis DeVirigilio who drove down to Washington DC on January 9th to attend the press conference that was held to announce this. It was great to know that Broad Channel was represented on this issue of great concern.
The Broad Channel Post Office will be moving to the All American Deli shortly. At this time you can buy stamps at the All American Deli and within two months all normal Postal services will be available at this location. I want to thank Congressman Meeks for assisting in contacting the Postmaster to make arrangements to ensure that Broad Channel will continue to have a local Post office.
On December 9th the Civic Association attended a meeting with the Port Authority and the FAA to discuss troubling changes in flight patterns that at times affect Broad Channel with increased noise. It was a very productive first start to a necessary discussion as this topic becomes a focus for many of the neighborhoods that surround the airport. We need to ensure that we have a voice in this discussion.  We thank Assemblyman Goldfeder for arranging and chairing this meeting.
The recent snow storm prompted a number of complaints from residents in regards to street plowing and snow removal. While the Civic is second to none in its admiration for the hard work performed by our Sanitation workers, this storm saw many side streets that are normally quickly plowed still snowed in days later. Some have indicated that the problem lies with the private subcontractors that have recently been used to plow the side streets with undersized vehicles that cannot move enough snow. Councilman Ulrich has arranged for a meeting between the Civic and Sanitation supervisors in an effort to highlight some of the recent problems and possible solutions.  We will keep you posted.

Quote of the MonthYou can judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing to them or for them.----M. Forbes

Respectfully submitted, 
Dan Mundy Jr.

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