Queens Lawmakers On The Move April 10, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Dromm, Finance Committee To Oversee City Fund Transfers

City Council Member Daniel Dromm

City Council Member Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights), chair of the Council’s Finance Committee, today will have the committee oversee the transfer of funds between various city agencies.

The move comes after a communication from the Office of Management & Budget, whereupon city funds between various agencies in Fiscal Year 2018 can be had to implement changes to the city’s expense budget.

The committee will over see the appropriation of new revenues in Fiscal Year 2018 as per the city charter.

The meeting is slated for 10 a.m., today, April 10 at City Hall in Lower Manhattan and open to the public.

Avella Pushes Pet Grooming Certification Legislation

Sen. Tony Avella

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Flushing, Jamaica Estates, Fresh Meadows, Bellerose, Floral Park, Jamaica, Douglaston, Little Neck, Auburndale, Kissena Park, Briarwood) announced yesterday that he will intensify his push for legislation that would establish state registration and certification of pet groomers and pet grooming facilities in New York State.

The announcement comes following news reports of multiple dogs dying in recent months during a grooming session at two New Jersey PetSmart stores,

Avella’s bill (S1596A) is currently in the Consumer Protection committee. As of now, there is no assembly sponsor but the bill has garnered bipartisan support in the senate.

“It should be the goal of every pet groomer to treat all animals entrusted to their care with kindness, patience, respect and compassion, ensuring their safety, health, and wellbeing. However, the most recent news story of Abby the Corgi dying during a routine grooming session is further proof of why this legislation is needed. When we drop our pets off for grooming we expect they will return to us even better than the way we left them. For many of us, our pets are parts of our family and losing them is like losing a loved one. Our state needs to step up to prevent similar tragedies from happening again,” said Avella.

Under the proposed legislation the Department of State (DOS) would begin regulating pet groomers and would require businesses to register to perform pet grooming. In the registration businesses would have to provide their basic information and submit to a DOS background check to make sure the owners have not been convicted of animal cruelty, neglect, or interpersonal violence. Additionally, the business would have to re-register every two years and complete eight hours of continuing education.

Avella’s bill would also set health and safety standards for the safe housing of animals and the penalties for violations of the new law. Businesses that violate any part of the legislation would face a fine of at least $500 per violation. Violations that do not involve health and safety issues, however, will range between $50 to $100.

Rosenthal, Comrie Introduce Bill to Rehabilitate Lefferts Boulevard Bridge

Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal
State Senator Leroy Comrie

Assemblymember Daniel Rosenthal (D-Kew Gardens Hills, Kew Gardens, Pomonok, Electchester, College Point and parts of Whitestone, Richmond Hill, Briarwood, Forest Hills) and State Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-Jamaica, Cambria Heights, Queens Village, Hollis, St. Albans, Laurelton, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Hillcrest, Kew Gardens) have introduced state legislation (A.10176/S.8029) towards efforts in preserving the Lefferts Boulevard Bridge.

Their measure would require the Metropolitan Transit Authority to conduct a study to explore the feasibility of rehabilitating the Kew Gardens structure.

The Long Island Rail Road bridge has been a constant source of concern in the community for years. Built over 90 years ago, the aging structure has become a hazard for residents and the 12 businesses that currently operate on site. While the MTA owns the structure, maintenance of the property has been granted to Long Island based firm, Zee N Kay Management LLC.

Despite years of community complaints, citing lack of infrastructure maintenance and neglecting contractually mandated repairs from Zee N Kay, the MTA seemingly did not enforce their agreement with the management company. As their lease expires in 2020, the authority is considering not renewing the contract, leaving the future of the structure unclear. Residents and business owners alike are concerned that the land will be sold to developers, resulting in full demolition of the bridge.

Citing the lack of foresight and responsiveness by the authority, this legislation would mandate a study that explores rehabilitation feasibility, and effects to local businesses should rehabilitation to prove impossible.

“The MTA has been an irresponsible landlord and is now asking the community to bear the consequences,” said Rosenthal. “Despite years of complaints raised by our residents, nothing was done to address the hazardous disrepair at this location. Our legislation ensures that our community does not bear the burden for decades of neglect. I am glad to work with my colleagues in state and city government to see that every possible option is explored to save our businesses and the character of Kew Gardens.”

“Years of delinquency have brought us to this critical juncture,” said Comrie. “I stand united with the business owners, residents of Kew Gardens, community advocates, Assembly Member Rosenthal, and Council Member Koslowitz as we push for cooperation from the LIRR so that we can guarantee an outcome that is acceptable to the community.” 

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