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Residents protest Jetro truck noise

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His sleeplessness is not due to stress at work or bad dreams, but from hearing the engines of 18-wheelers, destined...

By Alexander Dworkowitz

In recent months, Rocco D’Erasmo, president of College Point’s Golden Park Block Association, has had trouble getting to sleep at night.

His sleeplessness is not due to stress at work or bad dreams, but from hearing the engines of 18-wheelers, destined for the nearby Jetro Cash & Carry, run all night, D’Erasmo said.

“Sometimes they roll up at 4 in the morning,” he said. “Sometimes they roll up at 9 at night and stay there all night long. It’s all different hours.”

D’Erasmo is one of many residents living near Jetro who have complained about trucks that make deliveries to the company, a food and drinks wholesaler catering to small grocery and restaurants, during business hours.

Part of the College Point Corporate Park, Jetro’s warehouse is at 15-06 132nd St., just south of 15th Avenue. Residents live just across the street on the north side of 15th Avenue.

D’Erasmo identified two problems with trucks at the business. Truckers sometimes arrive at Jetro at night and decide to sleep in their vehicles until it opens, D’Erasmo said. During that time, they leave their engines on to keep the air conditioning running in the summer and heat going in the colder months, D’Erasmo said.

In the mornings, trucks line up to make deliveries at Jetro, and the vehicles park on the street and often block traffic, D’Erasmo and other College Point residents said.

“You can be waiting 15 minutes to get through this road at rush hour,” said Charles Crafen, a resident of 132nd Street.

When Jetro opened in 1996, the company was very good about addressing the concerns of neighbors, D’Erasmo said.

But last year, the trucks began to annoy the residents, D’Erasmo said. The company appeared to have brought the truck traffic under control, but this summer problems with the vehicles have re-emerged, D’Erasmo said.

Stanley Fleishman, president of Jetro, said he understood the neighbors’ complaints.

“I don’t blame them,” he said.

Fleishman said he recently installed signs around the property, telling truckers not to leave their engines running during non-business hours. Earlier this year, the company hired an employee to direct truck traffic around the property, Fleishman said.

“We think we are taking reasonable steps as a responsible citizen,” he said. “I think we are trying to do the right thing.”

D’Erasmo said it was too early to tell if the new signs had had any noticeable effect.

The city Economic Development Corp., which runs the College Point Corporate Park, is planning to hold a meeting between Jetro and Community Board 7, on which D’Erasmo sits.

Janel Patterson, a spokeswoman for the EDC, said her agency is “aware of the problem.”

“We are contacting Jetro to tell them that they need to conform to the Urban Renewal Plan,” she said. Businesses in the corporate park must abide by the Urban Renewal Plan, which includes regulations on how the corporate park is operated.

Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) said trucks were not the only problem at Jetro. He noted that signs advertising beer are posted on the fence around the business.

“The condition of the property needs to be better kept.”

Fleishman said he would have a look at the signs.

“If they’re offensive, I’ll take them down,” he said.

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 141.

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