Croton Monitoring Committee — Time to raise our voices?

On the following agenda for the Croton Filtration Monitoring Committee, you will see several interesting issues that affect us.  You may have read about the fakery by which the $200 million which the State Legislature required the DEP to give for parks in the Bronx basically was used to replace Parks funding, leading to no real increase in Bronx parks funding. (As we predicted eight years ago).  THAT should be an interesting discussion.

And if you’ve read Kristin Hart’s Riverdale Press piece about the difficulties involved in hiking the Croton Aqueduct trail, you’ll be interested in the discussion of why the promised pedestrian bridge can’t be built (or so they say).

THEN, they’ll discuss DEP’s outrageous plan to cut down any tree at or near the wall of the Reservoir — basically denuding this public space and creating a lot of erosion.

Then, as usual, they’ll discuss how much over budget they are and how far behind schedule. (Gee, I remember saying before they built this that they would never be able to build a filtration plant under ground for less money than they could build it above ground in Eastview — but I take no great pleasure in being proven right). And they’ll discuss how few jobs went to Bronxites (ditto).

Why, there’s just ever so many reasons to attend this meeting. 

 

The Croton Filtration Monitoring Committee meeting will be held:
Thursday, January 12, 2012
7 PM
DEP’s community office
3660 Jerome Avenue, Bronx NY 10467

The proposed agenda includes:

III  Continuation of Discussion about Croton Funded Parks and Costs
CFMC Representatives

IV  Additional Discussion about Pedestrian Bridge over Major Deegan Exp.
CFMC Representatives

V  Status of Dam Safety & Tree Removal at Jerome Park Reservoir
Mark Lanaghan, DEP

VI Construction Update, Schedule & Costs
Bernard Daly, DEP  or  Vincent Moorehead, P.E., DEP

VII Croton Jobs & Bronx Purchases
Mark Lanaghan, DEP

VIII Selection of CFMC Chair for 2012
CFMC Representatives

The public is invited to attend and comment during the meeting.

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5 responses to “Croton Monitoring Committee — Time to raise our voices?”

  1. Karen Argenti

    Well, Kristin and I attended the FMC meeting. It was a long and difficult meeting. Many of our neighbors were in attendance as well. Thank you for your support.

    The Parks projects budget was discussed and still needs to be updated. CB 8 may take up the issue in more detail. Stay tuned.

    The funding for our area was discussed, including the delay in work at Fort Independence Park. The delay was caused by two issues, one the disagreement in the community as to how to spend the funds, and the other the issue of the tree removal on the earthern dams. After a constituent claimed that the Jerome Park funding was supposed to be for a running track and that the Conservancy never put the running track outside the fence, the Bronx Parks Commissioner revealed that part of the delay was that the community had not reached a consensus. When I revealed that the Jerome Park Conservancy had not met since 2004, that I was the Secretary of the JPC, and that I supported the CB 8 position, the FMC took a vote to support CB 8.

    Next was the issue of the tree removal. The Public Design Commission is meeting on the Tree removal issue on January 31. Sometimes the calendar moves, so always check. Assemblyman Dinowitz raised the issue of the replacement trees — perhaps 1,000, should be placed as close to the site as possible in CB 8. This is still being worked out by the DEP, and if people want to write to the PDC they should urge replacement trees and/or saving some trees that may be removed. The FMC will be taking a walking tour of the remaining trees (about 140-170 trees but not sure), sometime soon; the public requested participation and that was agreed.

    Next was the issue of the Pedestrian Bridge, which the DEP says they do not have any money for this project. The FMC voted to follow the ULURP resolution and the MOU and send the report to the City Council and the Mayor for funding. Let’s see how long it takes to send that letter. Everyone should keep on top of this issue. One public member mentioned that the local trail group NY/NJ Metro Trails would care for the trail and the bridge as this is a big treat for trail walkers.

    There were other issues, but that is our part for now. Tell me what you think.

  2. Kristin

    Thanks Karen!
    I want to add that Karen Argenti is a walking, talking encyclopedia on these issues, and that the committee members repeatedly asked her for clarifications on facts relating to specific funding allocations, the ULURP, etc, and clearly viewed her as an expert.

    I was also very impressed with the committee itself– Father Gorman (CB12) , Bob Fanuzzi (CB 8), Wilhelm Ronda (BP), Paul Foster (CB7), Councilman Koppell, Parks Commissioner Aponte, (and Assemblyman Dinowitz who chimed in regularly from the peanut gallery)– who have taken on the task of trying to hold DEP accountable for its promises.

    A sisyphean task.

    We owe them gratitude and the public support they need to finally push this stupid rock over the hill, once and for all.

    And a final note of thanks to the Jerome Park Conservancy, which banded together 20 years ago and effectively fought to save the Reservoir from DEP’s original, extremely destructive plan which would have irreparably damaged our community.

    We WILL continue to push for access to the Reservoir, the running track, and the ecological park.
    And the pedestrian bridge connecting the Aqueduct Trail.
    And proper replacement of all the trees the DEP is now preparing to destroy.
    And proper funding and visionary designs for Bronx parks.

    And…we look forward to hearing the results of the audit!

    1. Karen Argenti

      Thanks Kristin. Just to clarify, the people who saved the reservoir from its real demise (although it looks bad now and this is not the full project) was the Friends of Jerome Park Reservoir. Tina Argenti, my mother, was the President of the group and it involved people from all around the reservoir. We raised money and hired the best lawyer we could find and made the DEP run away. The Conservancy was only about the structure of the reservoir and its connection to the DEP. Many of us were on both boards (like me), Tina was not on the Conservancy and Anne Marie was not on the FJPR. FJPR was a big constitutent group.

  3. Karen Argenti

    If you want to know anything about the studies and papers concerning the FMC, you can check it out on my own blog, http://www.Waterblogged.org

    Here you will find articles, maps, studies, MOUs, ULURPs, etc. all in one place. There is search button for easy reference.

  4. Kristin

    Got it!
    I was speaking to Dart Westphal about this fight last night… he was describing how you guys went to 5 meetings a week for years on end. Someone needs to write a book about that.

    Love your blog.

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