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Locust Point center reopens

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Two local elected officials are working with a waterfront civic association to help them recover from Superstorm Sandy.

Councilman Jimmy Vacca was on hand with Locust Point Civic Association president Al Belfiore and member Chrys Napolitano on Friday, January 10, to celebrate the completion of repairs of the LPCA’s Tierney Place Civic Center following a $300,000 capital grant secured by Vacca to deal with Hurricane Sandy related damage.

LPCA members said that the storm dumped two feet of water inside the building.

The building is owned by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, and the LPCA leases it.

Vacca said he worked with DCAS to expedite the project.

The seaside building, once used by engineers during the construction on the Throgs Neck Bridge, is a focal point for the community, serving as a meeting and polling place, and home to a $250,000 playground that Vacca secured funding for a few years ago.

“This is a city-owned building, and because it was a city-owned building leased to the Locust Point Civic, we were able to get approximately $300,000 of the city’s Sandy money to rebuild almost from the foundation up,” said Vacca. “When a lot of people think of Superstorm Sandy, we were more fortunate here than in other places, but we had damage.”

Among the new additions to the building are bathrooms, the kitchen, appliances, lighting, sheetrock walls, siding, furnace, boiler, two new air conditioners, beams, flooring, gravel in the foundation, and everything to do with electrical and plumbing, said Belfiore.

“We are very proud of our civic center now,” said Belfiore, adding that original intent of the civic house was to have a place where the residents could meet in case of emergencies, like a power outage.

“It is unfortunate about the way it happened, but ultimately we have a beautiful civic house,” said Napolitano, adding that it was not just a win for Locust Point but for the greater area because neighboring community groups could also have events and meetings at the civic house on Tierney Place, and that the group would be reaching out.

A spokeswoman from Senator Jeff Klein’s office said that they had worked along with Vacca, and also with Assemblyman Mike Benedetto, to help the LPCA rebuild.

Klein’s office helped secure a freeze in paying rent until the LPCA headquarters was back up and running, she said. This was because the LPCA makes money leasing the space, and could not until the repairs were made, she said.

Klein’s office also worked with Con Ed to turn off the gas and conduct inspections of the civic center, and worked with the Department of Buildings to reopen the building for voting and expedite a Certificate of Occupancy.

Members of Klein’s office team also participated in a cleanup of debris from the beach near the building that Napolitano planned in October 2013, the spokeswoman said.

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at procchio@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393
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