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Streetside mobile boiler has neighbors heated

Bronx Times
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A temporary mobile boiler parked curbside in front of a group home on 2225 Lodovick Avenue has become an eyesore on a Pelham Gardens residential street for some years now, neighbors say.

The ‘boiler on wheels’, which rivals the size of a pickup truck, runs an overhead hot water line from the street into the group home.

The boiler’s outward appearance is in a deteriorating condition and is a ‘monstrosity’ to the block, according to neighbor Mary Colby.

“The insulation around the boiler’s water line has been chipping away for some time,” she said.

Neighbors of the group home are equally annoyed that the mechanical eyesore has been hogging a valuable parking space in the tree-lined neighborhood not far from Pelham Parkway, Colby added.

The group home houses several developmentally disabled adults. The home’s only access to heat and hot water is currently provided via the portable furnace.

“We love having this home on the block,” Colby said.

“It’s a huge eyesore on our street that could end up becoming a hazard - that’s our issue with it,”, adding that those living in the home deserve more reliable utilities.

The mobile boiler was found to be in violation of the law by the NYC Department of Buildings in July, according to Councilman Mark Gjonaj’s office, which has been working to resolve the longstanding issue.

Since that time, the group home which is run by Community Action for Human Services has obtained temporary permits for the mobile boiler and is awaiting further inspections, according to Community Board 11’s records.

According to sources, the 2-story brick colonial located between Astor and Stillwell avenues, has been waiting for a licensed plumber to secure the necessary permits to install a replacement boiler in the home since the first week of September.

After that, another round of inspections by multiple city agencies need to be conducted, before the installation of the new boiler can even begin.

There have not been many updates as to the status of the project since then, Gjonaj’s office indicated.

His office along with CB11 have been in contact with the group home’s sponsor, which expressed agreement with the neighbors in wanting the eyesore removed as quickly as possible, according to CB 11 records.

“It has been taking literally years and nothing has changed,” Colby said in frustration.

Besides the unsightly boiler, Lodovick Avenue is also experiencing an uptick in traffic since the construction of the northside of Pelham Parkway began, with residents saying that the boiler is exasperating the situaution.

“We’ve gotten calls from people on City Island that drove by saying how inconvenient it is to drive through this street,” Colby said.

“I don’t see how it’s possible to have a ‘temporary’ mobile boiler for literally years,” she added.

Gjonaj’s office is awaiting some good news from the group home on what he hopes will be the final round of inspections and permits.

Calls from the Bronx Times Reporter to Community Action for Human Services were not returned by press time.

Updated 6:50 pm, October 9, 2019
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