Country Club promised new drains and curbs in 4 years

Jack Reith, Marcia Pavlica and Richard Pavlica – with Reith’s homemade flood level ruler – want DEP to begin work immediately. They’ve been waiting since the 1970s. Photo by Victor Chu

Country Clubbers between Waterbury, Fairfax and Layton avenues will get new drains and curbs soon. Perhaps not soon enough.

According to Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Mercedes Padilla, Country Club sewer renovations are part of the city’s four-year capital plan.

“Four years from now, my sidewalk will have sunk,” said Margaret Dunn, who lives on Baisley Avenue.

On rainy days, water rushes down Baisley Avenue to Dunn’s front yard. Her block has no curbs, no storm drain. The sidewalk is crumbling.

DEP split Stadium Avenue’s combined sewers decades ago but skipped a slice of the neighborhood. When heavy rains swamp the system, sewage shoots into bathtubs, basements and backyards. Tomo Dedivanovic’s Fairfax Avenue home floods regularly.

“I have six water pumps,” Dedivanovic said. “Five for my basement, one for my garage. Dirty water in my backyard, too. I get mosquitoes. It’s ridiculous.”

Last year, DEP told Councilman James Vacca 2012, then 2010. Community Board 10 demanded action. Now DEP has pushed Country Club’s sewer work to the “out years.”

“What if we stop paying our taxes?” Giuseppe Detri wondered. “Will the city fix our sewers then?”

Detri moved to Fairfax Avenue in 2005. One day, a full foot of water collected in his basement. The smell cost Detri $3,000.

“I ripped out my basement floor,” he said.

According to Marcia Pavlica, president of the Country Club Civic Association, DEP is ready to dig.

“The blueprints are done,” Pavlica said.

Last week, Vacca asked Mayor Michael Bloomberg to tap the state’s federal stimulus fund. Outside money could bump Country Club’s project forward in line.

More than 250 homes sit between Waterbury, Fairfax and Layton.

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