Disagreements as to who should clean-up neighborhood property has led to a mess of garbage and a place for homeless people to sleep.
Property next to the Metro Transit Authority Substation on White Plains Road between Thwaites Place and Waring Avenue is quietly emerging as a one of the filthiest and dangerous places within the 49th Precinct, and Community Board 11 district manager Jeremy Warneke and 49th Precinct Community Council president Joe Thompson are trying to determine who is responsible.
An MTA substation, which does not have an address, is enclosed behind a barbed wire fence and never seems to have any personnel coming in or out of the building.
Next to the substation is a desolate and polluted lot surrounded by a rock wall completely covered in graffiti. The lot has also appeared to become a year-round residence for a homeless man.
A according to Warneke, the MTA claims the property does not belong to them.
“There’s garbage that looks like it’s been there for years,” Warneke said. “Nobody is claiming ownership to this property but it’s becoming a serious health hazard in our community.”
The lot is filled with garbage bags, old food, rats, video cassettes, old electronic items and two five-gallon containers filled with a thick, dark unknown liquid.
Behind the polluted lot is an apartment building at 2280 Olinville Avenue, and although it could not be confirmed, according to the NYCityMap on NYC.gov, the parcel is part of the building’s property.
Located directly behind the lot is a playground for the building, creating concern for children who play there.
The building’s owner, Nancy Fritz, would not comment on the lot’s ownership.
“It’s been years since anyone has even looked at that property. The garbage has been mounting and it looks like a city dump,” Thompson said. “It has been reported numerous times over the years, but nobody has taken responsibility over who should clean it. Someone has to correct this situation and take action on this health hazard.”
Warneke has been working closely with 49th Precinct Community Affairs officer Victor DiPierro, who said every time he visits the MTA substation, the gated fence is always locked.
The MTA substation, which is also covered in graffiti in some sections, even has garbage along its perimeter and has sections of its barbed wire broken and hanging off the fence.
Thompson also said that during the winter, the sidewalk in front of the substation is never shoveled.