Pier May Be Open, But Many Say It’s “Still An Eyesore Here”
Impressed with the news that Canarsie Pier is now open to the public seven months after Hurricane Sandy deemed its grounds unsafe for occupants, Neal Duncan spoke about further repairs to the site during the May meeting of the United Canarsie South Civic Association.
“We’re glad that it’s finally open after all this time,” Duncan said. “And it’s an important step that we got it open, but inside it still looks like a mess. I visited the pier this morning and there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.”
While Duncan extended gratitude to Congressman Hakeem Jeffries for allocating funds which made the pier's opening possible, he is still disturbed about the future of the highlytrafficked Gateway National Recreation area site.
“The pier needs to be secure and safe for everyone. They still have to fix the lighting and the rundown building at the pier is just sitting there. What about its future?” he asked.
City Councilman Lew Fidler spoke briefly about the condition of Gateway National Park’s Sites throughout the city, noting that all recreational areas have been neglected.
“The National Park Service has left a lot of its grounds unkempt,” Fidler said. He also alluded to the fact that even though he has no control over the fate of the pier, since its on federal property, Congressman Jeffries’ predecessor Ed Towns promised big changes – which never happened.
“It’s been very frustrating over the past ten years I've been in office to see the pier deteriorate,” he said. “Since I can't put funding toward the pier, I put a lot of money into Canarsie Park so our community can enjoy a local recreational site that’s modern and safe.”
He noted that the park will soon make a music pavillion available for small concerts since the pier no longer has shows on a regular basis.
Duncan is disappointed that no structural analysis has been released to the public on the pier’s condition and is weary about the site being left behind again.
Representing the state level of politics, Assemblyman Alan Maisel's spokesperson Sharon Long and State Senator John Sampson’s spokesperson
Brandon Bloomfield addressed the small audience at the Hebrew Educational Society.
Bloomfield managed to dodge questions about the disgraced senator’s reputation, saying that Sampson is “still Canarise's Senator and is committed to serving his constituents.”
The Senator is hosting a Town Hall meeting next Wednesday, May 29th at the Hebrew Educational Society to further address rebuilding concerns for homeowners still rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy.
Long announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be offering another round of funds to homeowners whose expenses exceeded their original grants.
“You have to show utility bills and receipts so that they can determine if you’re eligible for more money,” Long said. “The Mayor’s office is administering the program the public will be notified when you can apply again. For a lot of homeowners, the money they got from their insurance isn’t enough and whatever FEMA gave them didn’t go a long way.”
Long said that it’s okay if a homeowner has already rebuilt, funds will still be available to those who need more help getting back on their feet.