Work on New Myrtle Parking Deck Begins
Propane Tank Leak Sparks Possible Legislation
by Harriet Kline
(July 24, 2008) At its July 9th meeting, the Mamaroneck Town Board approved the entrance of a new player into the Forest City Mamaroneck parking deck and apartment building project. Also, the board began to consider possible propane tank guidelines and/or regulations in response to a propane tank leak. A $165,552 new telephone system won board approval.
Parking Deck and Apartment Project Transferred to Iron Oak
On July 14, construction of the Myrtle Boulevard parking deck (Town Parking Lot #3) finally began. But that was after the Mamaroneck Town Board approved additional changes to the long-anticipated project.
At the July 9 meeting, developers from Forest City Mamaroneck successfully petitioned the board to authorize the transfer of both the parking deck and the related apartment project to another entity – Iron Oak of Westchester. Both Town Administrator Steve Altieri and Town Counsel Bill Maker assured the board and residents that a contract with Iron Oak Partners would not in any way change any of the prior agreements with Forest City. The design, materials and number and types of apartments and parking spots would remain the same. However, Mr. Maker was able to negotiate an additional clause calling for the creation of a $4 million escrow account for the completion of the parking deck by April 14, 2009. Work on the housing part of the project is to begin in 45 days.
Iron Oak of Westchester has recently completed several apartment projects in the area, including: Sweetwater Condominiums in Mamaroneck and a 90-unit residential development at 543 Main Street (the former Lillian Vernon building) in New Rochelle.
As readers of the Gazette are aware, the Town Board has been working with the Forest City organization for a number of years in an effort to build housing units on Madison Avenue and a parking deck on Myrtle Boulevard. The agreement consummated in October 2006 called for Forest City to finance and construct a parking deck on Myrtle Boulevard with no expense to the Town. (See: FCD Apartment Gets Board Approval.) That responsibility has now been assumed by Iron Oak.
Propane Tank Safety
On Memorial Day weekend, a residential underground 300 gallon propane gas tank began to leak. Town firemen and policemen were called to the scene at 12 Kolbert Drive and spent approximately 25 hours to safely drain the tank and prevent any damage to the neighborhood.
This incident prompted the Town Board to consider a moratorium on the installation of new tanks. However, after lengthy discussion between the board and a representative of Paraco Gas Company, the board concluded that new tanks may not be the problem. Indeed the newer tanks may be safer. What’s needed next is to assess how many tanks currently exist in Mamaroneck Town and to determine their installation dates. The tank at Kolbert Drive was 19 years old and will now be excavated to determine the exact reason for the leak.
As next steps, the board also agreed to determine what state and/or federal regulations already exist regarding propane tanks. The board will further consider: (1) whether or not to require regular pressure tests for all propane tanks larger than 50 pounds and, (2) whether or not to mandate that older underground tank models be visually inspected or replaced by new ones.
Further public discussion of the propane tank issue will be held at the Town Board’s next public session on August 6.
New Telephone System
The Board unanimously approved the replacement of the telephone system at the Town Center, fire department, highway garage and Hommocks Ice Rink as recommended by consultant Frank Walsh of Business Communication Management. The new Mitel system will cost $165,552
Fire Department Training
Fire Captain Michael Liverzani and Chief Sean McCarthy were on hand to brief the board about ongoing firefighter training and about a new initiative. The Mamaroneck Town Fire Department has formally dedicated personnel to a FAST ( Firefighter Assistance Search ) Team to locate and rescue firefighters inside a burning building. The members of the team have had special training with the use of a thermal imaging camera.
Mr. Liverzani also indicated that 92 members of the fire department have completed over 1110 hours of training this year. This includes required training as well as training needed for moving up in the ranks.
2009 Town Budget Calendar
At the close of the meeting Town Administrator Altieri presented the following calendar for the preparation of the 2009 budget.
Any changes to this schedule will be posted on the Town website.