Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Our Representatives Tell American Stevedoring: Move the Salt Pile

Councilmember Brad Lander's office sent CoWNA a copy of a letter to American Stevedoring, the operators of the Red Hook Piers and one of the companies behind the massive salt pile near Columbia and Kane Sts. The message: Covering the salt isn't enough; it's time to move the pile. The letter is signed by Councilmembers Lander and Stephen Levin, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, and State Senators Daniel Squadron and Velmanette Montgomery. Here it is:

May 12, 2010

Sal Catucci, C.E.O.

American Stevedoring, Inc

70 Hamilton Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11231-1305

Dear Mr. Catucci:

We are writing to urge that you address the large nuisance presented by the extremely large salt pile located close to the street on Columbia, between Kane & Degraw Streets. It is clear that operations are currently active and the tarp which covers the salt frequently comes off due to wind.

The salt pile has been a source of frustration for the residents of the Columbia Street Waterfront neighborhood for many months. Operations occur very close to your neighbors' homes across Columbia Street, and have led to complaints about salt caking on windshields, accumulating in gardens, and making it irritating to breathe.

Though we appreciated ASI’s efforts to meet with the community in February, communication has been intermittent at best. When operations began anew in the early spring, no warning or notice was given to our offices or members of the community. The salt pile grew significantly, and it was not until days later, after trucks had gone and salt was no longer being added that we heard anything from ASI.

While we appreciate your efforts to address the problem through “salt pile management,” we have come to believe as the result of persistent issues that the location itself is a problem. We ask that you move the pile to a different location within the port which is not so close to people’s homes. In addition, we ask that you agree to a lower height for the pile, which has now grown to be a large, nearly 5-story structure and therefore substantially alters the relationship of the port to its neighbors.

We hope to remain supportive of operations at the port in the coming years. We ask that you respect the community’s needs, move the salt to a more internal location on the pier, and keep it at a reasonable height. We look forward to discussing this matter with you.

Brad Lander

Councilmember, 39th District

Stephen Levin

Councilmember, 33rd District

Daniel Squadron

State Senator, 25th District

Joan Millman

Assemblywoman, 52 District

Velmanette Montgomery

State Senator, 18 District

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