Residents of southern Bayside upset over damage done to their property during a sewer reconstruction project should bring their complaints to the board, Community Board 11 Chairman Bernard Haber told them at a meeting last week.
"We will ask the questions for you," Haber said to about 40 people who attended a gathering of the Bayside Clear-Springs Council at MS 158 last Thursday. Haber urged the audience to bring pictures and written accounts of their damaged property to either CB 11 or to civic leader Mandingo Tshaka.
Several residents said they were angry over the impact of HWQ707, a sewer and water main reconstruction project in southern Bayside that began last year, which they said left cracked sidewalks and damaged driveways in its wake.
Representatives of the city Department of Design and Construction did not attend the meeting, and Borough President Claire Shulman, who sent a representative, blasted the agency in a letter this week.
"Your staff is well aware of the fact that the community board and civic association have been awaiting a meeting with the DDC for some time to get an explanation of how the outstanding deficiencies on this job are being handled," she wrote.
When the project finished last spring, residents were instructed by the DDC to put their contact information and complaints on a "punch list," a tool the agency uses to address last-minute or left-over concerns in large projects.
But at last week's meeting several residents said they had put their complaints on the punch list and gotten no response.
"Am I supposed to be responsible for someone else's shoddy work?" one woman said. She said workers cut into her driveway during the project - less than two months after she had replaced it - and never came back to fix the damage.
Another resident said construction work had left a large hole in the sidewalk in front of her home that she feared could be hazardous to pedestrians.
Tshaka said Tuesday that DDC officials had called to apologize for their failure to appear at the meeting and offered to schedule another meeting about the complaints.
The sewer and water main reconstruction project was centered in southern Bayside between 48th Avenue in the south, 206th Street in the west, Bell Boulevard in the east and Northern Boulevard in the north. The work was completed in the spring.
Haber urged the crowd to bring their complaints to Small Claims Court or to the city to call attention to the area's problems with the HWQ707 project.
"If there are enough people in the community as a group, I suspect the city will start looking at this a little more closely," he said. "We can take your complaints for you and ask the questions of the mayor's office, such as why the work was not done."
The next meeting of the Bayside Clear-Springs Council was slated for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, at MS 158.
To contact CB 11, call 225-1054.
Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.