$6M bathroom spurs NYC pol to push projects reform bills
A Staten Island pol says town has such a suspect historical past of unnecessarily flushing away cash on capital projects — together with a projected $6 million bathroom facility slated for a park in his district — that he’s pushing new laws requiring companies to be extra clear about how they’re spending taxpayer dough.
Council Minority Chief Joseph Borelli stated he shall be introducing a invoice at Thursday’s assembly that might require town to put up massive indicators at development websites of its capital enchancment projects.
The indicators could be up to date not less than month-to-month and determine the precise challenge below development, anticipated prices, town company dealing with oversight and different data to assist the general public monitor attainable price overruns and delays.
“Individuals want to be extra outraged by how a lot issues price,” Borelli stated. “The [city’s] capital procurement course of is basically flawed. Regardless of lip service from earlier administrations, nothing vital has been completed to assist the method.”
Borelli stated he’s been shocked previously by how a lot some projects wind up costing, together with a bathroom facility he satisfied former Mayor Invoice de Blasio in 2017 to greenlight development on at Seaside Wildlife Nature Park in Nice Kills.
It was initially slated to price a whopping $6 million, however may now wind up costing taxpayers much more — up to $10 million, in accordance to the Parks Division’s web site. The consolation station has been designed, however its development timeline has been pushed again not less than a yr due to the pandemic with a builder but to be chosen.
Within the meantime, the favored park continues to don’t have any restrooms — forcing some to resort to excessive measures.
“Individuals go house or discover a tree,” quipped Borelli. “Both we pay the vig to Park Division for capital prices, or persons are caught pissing behind a tree in perpetuity.”
Borelli additionally plans to introduce one other invoice on Thursday in a bid to create a brand new 15-person activity drive whose mission could be to reform town’s capital development system.
The duty drive would come with seven council members, 5 mayoral appointees and the commissioners of the Buildings Division, Parks Division and Division of Housing Preservation and Growth.
The Parks Division has an extended historical past of coming below fireplace from critics for overspending on bogs, together with $2 million spent to construct a 400-square-foot restroom at Gravesend Park on 18th Avenue in Brooklyn that opened in 2017.
A Parks Division spokeswoman stated the company “look[s] ahead to reviewing” the laws as soon as it’s launched.
The suspect spending extends far outdoors metropolis parks.
Final week, some council members had been floored at a funds listening to after studying the FDNY is looking for to construct new kitchens at a few of its firehouses — at a price of $1.2 million apiece.
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