Community advocacy over noise at a police range and detonation facility in Pelham Bay Park is getting louder.
The City Island Civic Association’s received a response from William Bratton, NYPD commissioner, reaffirming plans for noise abatement at the police training range and bomb squad facility at Rodman’s Neck.
The facility is slated to undergo a major $150 million renovation.
The civic group has been advocating for the installation of sound barriers to mitigate the effects of range noise for over two decades, according to CICA board members.
In Bratton’s letter to CICA president Bill Stanton dated Wednesday, March 16, he went into specifics about the department’s plans for sound blocking technologies at the range that are part of a larger plan “to modernize the facility and transform it into a state-of-the-art training location.”
“We will work with the designers to consider all sound mitigation technologies, including installation of an overhead baffle system with enhanced sound proofing and ballistic sidewalls which will reduce noise considerably” stated the commissioner in the letter.
The letter referenced the use of an existing electronic notification system, Notify NYC, to provide real time notifications prior to bomb squad detonations, a request that CICA board members had also made of the police department.
The initial reaction among the activists calling for sound attenuation was cautious optimism that this time sound baffling will come to fruition.
This was the first time the commissioner has put in writing specific plans to address sound abatement at Rodman’s Neck, said John Dolye, CICA board member.
“It was very specific on the sound abatement matters, which is good; but then again, these pledges have been made for 20 years,” said Doyle
He said that the civic is looking for a timeline as to when the sound attenuation part of the project can begin.
The CICA’s hope is the sound abatement is the first thing done as part of that reconstruction project, said Barbara Dolensek, CICA vice-president.
“The sound abatement should really come first or be addressed during the construction,” she said. “We have been waiting for 25 years or more.”
Councilman James Vacca sought a timeline as part of his questioning of the commissioner at a city council public safety hearing on Monday, March 21, and Dolensek commended the councilman’s “strong effort” in pushing for a timeline.
Vacca said the commissioner explained that a consultant was studying the cost of sound baffling at Rodman’s Neck, and should have a number in time for the release of the mayor’s executive budget in mid- April.
At that time, Vacca said that he would include funding for the noise reduction equipment.
“I am pushing for a timeline,” said the councilman, adding as part of the range rebuilding, issues with lead contamination, which he said have also lingered for years, should be addressed.
The NYPD commissioner is providing details on Rodman’s Neck sound baffling.