Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move July 31, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Deutsch Questions Rejection Of Gas Pipeline

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch

City Council Member Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest, Midwood), yesterday questioned the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) rejection earlier this year of a proposal from National Grid, the gas company, to build a 37 mile pipeline that would stretch from Pennsylvania to New York City. 

According to National Grid, the pipeline has become an urgent need, as the economy in New York City is booming, and their current pipeline is at capacity.

“Several months ago, National Grid implemented a moratorium, meaning that they cannot connect new gas service in buildings and homes across New York City and Long Island. This affects private homes, apartments, new developments, or new small businesses that require higher gas usage than the previous tenant. A business, home, or apartment that was inactive for more than 24 months cannot have gas service turned on, meaning they literally cannot operate. So – if a home or building has an oil boiler, they cannot switch to gas, a significantly cheaper option. NYCHA buildings, which utilize the unreliable and often broken oil boilers are now unable to switch over to gas. Approval for new affordable housing developments could become a prolonged process, because of the moratorium on getting gas connections,” wrote Deutsch in his newsletter.

“The State’s refusal to approve the pipeline could have long-lasting impacts. During the next several months, New Yorkers will start to see more and more neighbors affected by this decision. Jobs will be lost, both in small businesses and for construction workers, as developers may choose not to complete ongoing projects. The economic boom that has so positively affected New York City will slow down, and then stop,” he continued.

Deutsch said while opposition to the pipeline on the basis of environmental concerns should be taken seriously, it is also important to weigh the long-term effects that this could have on New York City’s economy, on affordable housing, and on small businesses. 

“If there is an alternative to natural gas that is feasible for New York City, the public deserves to know it,” he wrote.

Deutsch’s comments come as the Public Service Commission will be holding a public hearing about gas rates at 6 p.m., tonight, July 31 at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street in Downtown Brooklyn.


Cornegy Releases Findings On Third Party Transfer Program

City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr

City Council Member Robert E. Cornegy Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) tomorrow will share his findings of the City Council joint oversight hearing on the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) use of the Third Party Transfer (TPT) program.

The findings are sharply critical of the program and point to overuse in black and brown communities and the taking of properties and millions of dollars of intergenerational wealth out of these communities. KCP first broke this story last September and has been following it in an ongoing series of related stories.

The City Council Committee on Oversight and Investigations spent 6 months investigating the program, and in conjunction with the Committee on Housing and Buildings, held an oversight hearing on the issue last week.

Cornegy will present the committee findings at 1 p.m., tomorrow, Aug. 1 at the Brooklyn Borough Hall Rotunda, 209 Joralemon Street in Downtown Brooklyn.


Walker Urges Cuomo, De Blasio To Declare Mass Shooting In Brownsville

Assemblywoman Latrice Walker

Assemblywoman Latrice Walker (D-Brownsville) sent letters to both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio urging these executive branches of state and city government to declare Saturday’s incident in her district as a mass shooting.

According to police and other officials, at least two shooters opened fire on a crowd of people following Brownsville’s annual Old Timers Concert leaving one dead and 11 wounded. Walker said this fits the description of a mass shooting according to the definition by the Gun Violence Archive and the Mass Shooting Tracker.

“The Gun Violence Archive and the Mass Shooting Tracker defines a mass shooting as “… four or more victims injured or killed in a relatively public area and in which victims appeared to have been selected randomly.” This tragedy, by far exceeds this definition. Therefore, I am urging this Administration to declare this event a mass shooting,” Walker wrote.

Walker noted that getting the mass shooting declaration would allow federal programs such as the Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program to come to the neighborhood, which in turn would have a tremendous effect by assisting individuals and communities in recovering from the effects of mass shootings through the provision of community-based outreach and psycho-educational services. 

“Further, these interventions involve the counseling and assisting of disaster survivors in understanding their current situation and reactions to mitigating stress, reviewing their disaster recovery options, promoting the use or development of coping strategies, providing emotional support, and encouraging linkages with other individuals and agencies who may help survivors in their recovery process,” the lawmaker added.


Cuomo Signs Legislation Allowing Campaign Fund Use For Childcare

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday signed legislation (S.2680A/A.1108B) to allow state and local candidates to use campaign funds to pay for childcare expenses, enabling more parents to run for public office.

“Women face too many barriers when it comes to running for office and frankly childcare expenses shouldn’t be one of them,” said Cuomo. “By signing this measure into law, we will build on the historic progress we’ve made toward gender equality and empower more parents – and mothers in particular – to seek public office to ensure the decision-makers in Albany reflect the people they are elected to represent.”

Specifically, the bill amends state election law to allow campaign funds to be used to pay childcare expenses that are “incurred in the campaign or in the execution of the duties of public office or party position.” The bill’s provisions are effective in 60 days.

In New York, about 33 percent of the state’s executive and legislative officials are women, compared with a national average of 29 percent of state executive and legislative officials, according to the Center for American Women and Politics.   


Colton Angry With DOT Repair Work

Assembly Member William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (D-Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights) yesterday demanded that the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) immediately repave the crosswalk at Bay Parkway and 86 Street.

Colton had previously asked the DOT to repair the crosswalk, but upon inspection of the work done, found it was a shoddy repair.

“I am amazed with the way the DOT responded to my demand of paving the crosswalk at Bay Parkway and 86th Street. An awful patching job was completed, filling in a crater hole which turned into a dangerous mound at the crosswalk,” said Colton.

“I am furious and outraged with the bureaucratic decision of the DOT. Instead of making proper and permanent repairs to the road, the DOT decided to waste the taxpayer’s money on unnecessary and horrible road patching, which will not last. This is unacceptable. I will continue to press the issue with the DOT until the repairs are made properly. I only hope that it was intended as a temporary repair and not a permanent solution,” Colton added.


Cumbo Announces Extension Of Lien Sale Deadline

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) yesterday announced the city’s Department of Finance (DOF) has decided to extend the NYC LIEN SALE to August 1.

Each year, the DOF sells tax liens. If a property owner has unpaid debt that qualifies for a lien sale, the agency will sell the lien debt (the amount owed) to an authorized buyer. A lien servicing company, on behalf of the buyer, adds more fees and interest to the property owner’s debt.

The debt must be resolved from the following methods by August 1:

  • Enter into a payment agreement with NYC Department of Finance and/or DEP
  • Apply to receive a property exemption that will statutorily exclude a property owner from the lien sale
  • Have a qualifying exemption
  • Senior Citizen Homeowner Exemption (SCHIE)
  • Disabled Homeowner Exemption (DHE)
  • Real Property Tax Credit for Homeowners
  • Veterans Exemption

Ways to Pay:

  • Online: Nyc.gov/dep, Nyc.gov/liensale, or via the “MY DEP” mobile app
  • By Phone (212) 291-2931 or (866) 622-8292
  • By Mail NYC Dept. of Finance, P.O. Box 680, Newark, NJ 07101-0680        
  • By Mail NYC Water Board, P.O. Box 11863, Newark, NJ 07101-8163
  • In person at the NYC Department of Finance Business Centers or Bureau of Customer Services Borough Offices

For Property Taxes- NYC Dept. of Finance

  • Tax Lien Ombudsperson
  • Phone: 212-440-5408 or 212-440-5407
  • Senior Ombudsman: 212-291-4414
  • Online: nyc.gov/finance, Brooklyn location-210 Jorolemon Street

For Water & Sewer Charges – NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection

  • Bureau of Customer Services, Brooklyn: 250 Livingston Street, 8th Floor
  • Phone: 718-595-7000
  • Online: nyc.gov/dep

To Dispute Water & Sewer Charges

Emergency Repair & Alternative Enforcement Charges

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