The source of persistent brown water, uncertain Assembly District lines and the status of the Salt Marsh Nature Center and Marine Park were among the unresolved topics discussed at the latest Marine Park Community Association (MPCA) meeting held on Tuesday, January 17th at the Carmine Carro Center.
MPCA President Rob Mazzuchin experienced brown water problems that morning, which have been plaguing the area for some time, and thought that a recent water main break on East 35th Street, between Avenue T and U, might have been the cause, but 311 had no answers for him.
Although Mazzuchin’s water cleared up by evening, Ian Girshek, legislative director for Assemblywoman Jaime Williams, reported that the latest information from DEP was that inspection crews were out in the 11234 area and were flushing the discolored water by running hydrants and checking water main valves. A cause has not been determined yet with the investigation ongoing.
Girshek said that it might be related to the recent fire that happened at Avenue P and Nostrand Avenue. “When they use a lot of hydrants, the pressure gets all screwed up and what happens is it backs up and you get all the discolored water coming out.” As soon as he gets an answer, he will share it with everybody.
He then made an important announcement regarding redistricting in Williams’ 59th Assembly District due to changes in the U.S. Census that takes place every 10 years.
This year, there was a problem because the Assembly redistricting process has been voted unconstitutional and there wasn’t enough time to change it, so the district lines will remain in effect for the 2023 – 2024 year. Currently, there is a special master who is appointed to oversee the process and district lines may change next year if nobody says anything about it.
He showed a picture of the map of the new district lines and Marine Park is cut completely out of the 59th District. “They are literally cutting the district in a very obscure way,” he said. “I don’t know who your new representative will be – a little bit will be Helene Weinstein, but there will be another representative who will come in from the assembly.”
He told residents that if they wanted their current elected official to stay, they should reach out to the New York Independent Redistricting Committee and that they should attend the meeting scheduled to take place on February 28th at Borough Hall; information to follow.
Residents also wanted to know what was happening with the reconstruction projects for the Salt Marsh Nature Center and Marine Park. “I’ve been told from two different sources that it’s a contract issue, it was COVID, all sorts of reasons, but all, at this point, it’s unacceptable,” said longtime resident Bill Russo.
Bob Kaplan, board member of the Salt Marsh Alliance, told Russo that the Nature Center is expected to be finished in March. There will be a board of directors meeting in two weeks, and he’ll have more information at the next MPCA meeting.
Another resident complained about the walking and bicycling path at the park. He said that it was horrendous and that he’s brought it up many times over the years and was promised it would be taken care of but nothing is ever done.
“They fill it in sometimes with a little bit of tar that will last for like, a couple of weeks – my bicycle’s had flat tires, I’ve seen people fall, people walking can barely get around, and when it’s icy and cold, all those pits and holes ice over and they’re deadly dangerous,” he said.
He also reported that he’s been getting inquiries about Marine Park J.H.S. 278 and some of the issues going on there about the curriculum and discipline problems.
Mazzuchin has received complaints from business owners and some members who said their lawns and property were being ripped up after the kids leave school. “For my understanding, if those complaints are made to the principal, the principal is supposed to at least acknowledge it and attempt to correct it with the students and my understanding is that they’re being completely ignored,” he said.
He said that he would be bringing it up at the next board meeting and that residents should call if they have any information to add. “We are going to look into that and we are going to take it up as an issue to the community,” he said. “If it affects the community, it’s going to come up here.”