Concerns persist at Con Ed yard; Klein steps in

This truck storage yard at the Van Nest Service Center for Con-Edison used to be employee parking, without much of the noise that Van Nest Avenue residents frequently have to contend with on a regular basis. Photo by Patrick Rocchio

While Con Edison has been working with residents in Morris Park to deal with a variety of issues at their yard, some who own homes bordering the facility are not satisfied and are demanding further action.

Community Board 11’s Morris Park and Van Nest committee meeting on Tuesday, February 10 will include a discussion facilitated by the board that will have two Con Edison representatives addressing the concerns of those who live next to the plant on Van Nest Avenue.

Calls for further action came in over the past few weeks as neighbors bordering the yard reported Con Edison flush trucks idling for long periods of time, as well as an idling cherry picker and loud noises as salt trucks came to load up below the bluff where private homes stand on Van Nest Avenue between Bronxdale and Matthews avenues.

“They put a dump truck filled with salt across from the back of my house and filled the other trucks with a bulldozer that makes a beeping noise whenever it backs up,” said Patricia Doyle, who lives next to the yard. “There was a humming noise that lasted continuously for five straight days. In all the years that I have been here, nothing like this has every occurred.”

Senator Jeff Klein worked with Con Edison to have the salt pile moved to another part of the extensive property, and Doyle is very happy with the result. Now the salt trucks are loading up elsewhere

“I am committed to bridging communication between the community and Con Edison to resolve these ongoing issues,” Klein said. “Con Edison has been very responsive but I am monitoring the situation closely to make sure we see continued results.”

Doyle lives in a house her family purchased 100 years ago, and she said that Con Edison used to be a good neighbor, but in the past 10 years has turned a blind eye to the community.

She recalled a time when Con Edison trucks used to plow the streets when the city was unable to after heavy snowfalls, and enjoyed really good relations with the neighborhood. The truck parking lot below the back of her house used to be an employee parking lot, and has grown increasingly noisy since being converted more than ten years ago.

“When Patricia Doyle reached out to me, and I commended her for standing up to Con Edison,” said CB 11 member Joe Bombace. “I am asking Con Edison to put itself in the shoes of the homeowners on Van Nest Avenue. This goes beyond quality of life. The residents of Van Nest Avenue are having their civil rights violated.”

CB 11 district manager John Fratta said that in recent months, Con Edison has addressed several issues, such as over grown trees and the closure of an entrance gate on the corner of Matthews and Van Nest avenues that became a problem for area residents.

“We have spoken with Con Edison a number of times and they have made some significant changes,” Fratta said. “We have the matter with Con Edison on our meeting agenda, and they have agreed to attend. Hopefully, further agreements with Con Edison can be worked out.”

Rolando Infante, a Con Edison spokesman, confirmed that the utility would be at the meeting.

“In regard to trucks idling, we have to and are addressing the attitudes of employees at our plant,” Infante said. “It would be against our own regulations to have trucks idling [for more than two minutes]. We understand that even a minimal noise creates an echo that can reverberate. That being said, we do operate the plant 24/7.”

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