A trio of elected officials joined forces to sponsor a fish fry on Friday, August 4, for residents of Throggs Neck Houses who are without cooking gas.
Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblymen Mark Gjonaj and Michael Benedetto hosted the buffet featuring the tasty deep-fried fish, along with pasta, chicken and side dishes, at the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, Throggs Neck Unit, 550 Balcom Avenue.
The gas leak was discovered on Friday, July, 28.
“We’ve got to feed the people,” Monique Johnson, president of the Throggs Neck Residents Council, said that Gjonaj told her.
“This is something they propose to do every weekend — Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays — until this is resolved,” Johnson said at the evening fish fry.
The buffets will be offered at the Boys and Girls Club on Fridays, and at the Throggs Neck Residents Council office on Saturdays and Sundays, because the club is booked those days, according to Johnson.
The gas leak affects the tenants of 2821 and 2815 Dewey Avenue, a two-sided building with 35 apartments on each side, affecting 70 families and over 250 residents.
After a leak was reported, the main gas line was turned off at the building, according to Johnson.
“They did not find out where the leak was coming from,” Johnson said, referring to ConEd. “They shut the main gas line down.”
NYC Housing Authority had to contact Con Ed and the NYC Department of Buildings for a permit to do the work to fix the gas connections in every apartment in the building.
NYCHA will update Johnson on what phase the repair is in, so she can inform residents.
“At this particular moment, it doesn’t matter where the gas leak is coming from because they shut down the main (line),” Johnson said. “So nobody has gas and they’re going to redo everybody’s gas connection.”
In response to an inquiry by the Bronx Times Reporter, NYCHA provided an update Monday, August 7, on the situation.
“Our first priority during a gas leak is resident safety,” said Jasmine Blake, NYCHA deputy press secretary, in a statement via e-mail. “We are urgently working with the Department of Buildings and Con Ed to restore service as quickly and safely as possible.”
NYCHA intends to replace the gas lines in each of the 70 apartments, calling the remedy “lengthly but necessary” and a “frustrating process.”
“We greatly appreciate residents’ patience and partnership,” Blake said.
NYCHA’s Environmental Health and Safety Unit inspected the building on Saturday, August 5, to see what safety precautions are necessary for the type of permit the project requires.
The permit from the DOB is expected by the end of week (Friday, August 11), and full repairs are anticipated by mid-September, according to the statement.
Con Ed will be required to turn the gas back on once the physical work is completed and DOB inspects and approves the work.
Each apartment received an electric hot plate to prepare meals.