Bushwick Learns Sewer Line Plans

DEP Insurance Pgm. Could Save On Repairs

A Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) representative outlined during Brooklyn Community Board 4′s meeting last Wednesday, Feb. 20, at Bushwick’s Hope Gardens Senior Center an optional program meant to shield homeowners from unexpected costs of repairs to private water and sewer lines.

Karen Ellis, representing the Department of Environmental Protection, informed Brooklyn Community Board 4 about a sewer and water line break protection program.

According to the DEP’s Karen Ellis, monthly costs of enrollment are $3.99 for water service line protection; $7.99 for sewer service line protection, or $11.98 for both. Costs will increase as of July 1.

Charges will be applied to DEP water and sewer bills and directed by the city toward American Water Resources, which will manage the programs.

Included in the cost are unlimited protection for repairs caused by normal wear and usage, a four-hour re- sponse time in case of emergencies, a one-year warranty on repairs and a 24-hour customer service line.

Under the program, homeowners are responsible for their own private water and sewer lines, in the middle of most streets, and the connection to their houses.

Ellis warned that if your home is more than 40 years old, it can be at risk and the damage would come at a price.

“The cost to repair your service line can be anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 and for your sewer line it can be $10,000 to $15, 000,” Ellis said.

“On average, 85 percent of calls are complaints about leaks and when we go out and do the investigation, we find that the service line leaks are the homeowner’s property,” she added.

To enroll in the program, visit awrusa.com/nnyc or call 1-888-300-3570.

Chairperson’s report

Board 4 Chairperson Julie Dent noted that community businesses will be helped by the project completion of the M train station at Knickerbocker Avenue earlier this month.

She also discussed the second annual Competition THRIVE, which seeks to generate proposals for programs to support immigrant entrepreneurs in NYC.

Proposals are reviewed by a panel of judges comprised of business and non-profit leaders, representatives from city government and academics. The panel will select five finalists to receive $25,000 of seed funding to pilot their program for six months. After the six month pilot, the judges select the winning program based on scalability and sustainability. The winning program receives $100,000 to further implement their program.

The deadline to enter is March 7, 2013. To find out more, visit www.nycedc.com/thrive.

District Manager’s report

Board 4 District Manager Nadine Whitted reported that she met with Capt. Francis Giordano, the commanding officer of Transit District 33, on Jan. 24 and discussed lighting at local stations and the need for an elevator at the DeKalb Avenue station on the L line.

Giordano agreed to meet with the board regarding the community’s issues during a public hearing at a later date.

Other news

Arthur Samuels, founder of the Math, Science, Engineering and Science academy (MESA) Charter High School, reminded residents that the school will be opening in Bushwick this August. Students and teachers are currently being recruited, he added.

“We believe every student in Bushwick is entitled to a college preparatory education,” Samuels said. “Too many people are leaving this neighborhood to go to high school in Manhattan and Queens.”

There will be three information sessions next month at the 617 DeKalb Ave. Library. The dates are: Mar. 13 at 6 p.m., Mar. 20 at 6 p.m. and Mar. 23 at noon. For more information, go to www.mesacharter.org.

Brooklyn Community Board 4 usually meets on the third Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. the Hope Gardens Senior Center, located at 195 Linden St. in Bushwick.

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