Rodman’s Neck noise complaints reach NYC chief executive

The City Island community, which has long advocated for sound abatement at the NYPD firing range at Rodman’s Neck, reached out to Mayor de Blasio on the issue during a call-in radio show.
Community News Group / Patrick Rocchio

City Island community leaders continue to reach out to top city officials regarding the long-promised sound abatement of the Rodman’s Neck firing range next to Pelham Bay Park.

The irritating noise at the NYPD training range has prompted a call for stronger action.

On a recent call-in radio program, City Island Civic Association vice-president Barbara Dolensek reached out to Mayor de Blasio directly.

Dolensek called in to de Blasio during an ‘Ask the Mayor’ segment of Brian Lehrer’s radio program on WNYC on Thursday, June 16.

Since June, the CICA has been in touch with the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, said Dolensek.

In response to a description of the noise from the facility penetrating homes nearby from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., the mayor said that it was the first time he had heard about sound problems from the community surrounding Rodman’s Neck.

“This will cause me to discuss this at high levels to see what has been promised and what we need to do to achieve it,” said the mayor.

Dolensek said that the mayor’s office has been receiving letters about the noise at Rodman’s Neck, and could have been unaware of sound issues.

Plans for noise abatement are part of proposals for a complete renovation of Rodman’s Neck, said Councilman James Vacca.

The first promise of sound attenuation at Rodman’s Neck goes back years.

A memorandum of understanding between then- Mayor David Dinkins and then-Assembly Speaker Saul Weprin, drawn up when the parkland was being alienated in 1993, had promised that sound abatement be studied at the range. According to sources, it is a feature of many ranges.

More recently, a complete overhaul of the NYPD Rodman’s Neck facility that would have included sound attenuation looked like it would be included in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget, but now looks as if it will be pushed back another year, according to reports in the Bronx Times.

Vacca said that he has spoken to the mayor’s staff about Rodman’s Neck’s noise issues, and has brought up the issue during public hearings on the budget at the Public Safety Committee.

Vacca believes that the facility needs to be modernized in order to better service the police officers that train there.

“I think that this facility has been neglected for far too long,” said Vacca, adding, citing years of “infrastructure procrastination.”

A spokesman for the mayor’s office stated there hasn’t been a cut to any project related to noise abatement at Rodman’s Neck.

“There is currently a Capital Project Scope Development study underway to evaluate the gun range scope and costs, which includes sound mitigation,” she said.

John Doyle, CICA board member, expressed frustration on the overall lack of progress on the project since the first mention of noise abatement in 1993 and the pledges made since.

“We have been through three mayors, and six police commissioners and two city council people, and nothing has changed (in terms of sound baffling), said Doyle.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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