Rodman’s Neck rehab is a long way off

(l-r) Bob Bieder, 45th Precinct Community Council president; Annie Boller, 45th Precinct Community Council board member; Captain Carlos Ghonz, the precinct’s commanding officer; John Doyle, 45th Precinct Community Council board member and Barbara Dolensek representing the City Island Civic Association at the meeting to discuss the range with NYPD officials at Community Board 10’s office on Wednesday, March 15.
Photo courtesy of John Doyle

Community leaders in the 45th Precinct are continuing their dialogue with NYPD on sound issues as the agency gears up to renovate its firing range.

The 45th Precinct Community Council hosted another meeting recently with NYPD brass, including a director of NYPD capital construction, to continue discussing the community’s two decade quest for sound reductions at the Rodman’s Neck training range, according to attendees.

The precinct council hosted the meeting on Wednesday, March 15 at Community Board 10’s office, said Bob Bieder, council president, with further meetings to be scheduled.

The council president said the meeting was a productive follow up to an earlier one that took place in October 2016.

“One of the things (NYPD) agreed to do is meet quarterly,” said Bieder, adding that he pressed NYPD officials present for information about how often the range is used by state and federal agencies for training.

“You have state and federal agencies that are using this facility and we feel that they should be kicking in as well,” he said, with a ballpark estimate given by NYPD at meeting of about five percent use by agencies outside the city.

The precinct council president said he told NYPD officials that the range does not meet established noise limitations.

“I want them to be in the accordance and conformance with city, state and federal noise regulations,” said Bieder.

The $275 million for the project to rebuild the firing range and tactical training facility at Rodman’s Neck is expected to be placed in the city’s 10-year capital plan shortly after being made a priority by Mayor de Blasio.

The community still does not know how much of the total budget would be used for sound remediation, said Bieder, though it is to be a part of the project.

After the September 2001 terrorist attacks, louder and more sophisticated weapons were used for training at the range, said Bieder, increasing noise for affected communities like City Island, Country Club and Spencer Estate.

Barbara Dolensek, City Island Civic Association vice-president, who attended the meeting, said that she learned at the meeting that the selection of a contractor is at least two years away, with the rebuilding of new infrastructure expected to occur over a number of years.

“It is just a long way off, which is the problem,” she said.

Dolensek said that NYPD officials told attendees that they couldn’t fully enclose the range because of the high cost, but also because police officials want some weather to simulate real-life conditions law enforcement personnel face.

However, Dolensek said that the NYPD presentation did contain specifics as to some types of sound baffling that could be used at Rodman’s Neck.

Another attendee, John Doyle, 45th Precinct Community Council board member, said that the NYPD officials said that part of the sound remediation might include ‘block walls’ that would surround the range area.

He also said that officials did not seem ready to quantify how much of a noise reduction affected communities would experience.

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

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