Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

If Village of Pelham is concerned about leaf blowers, it shouldn’t put five diesel engines at Julianne’s Playground

To the editor:

My family has been residents of the Village of Pelham since shortly after World War II, four generations. We stayed here because of the village feel and the quality of life. That I am sorry to say, in my eyes, is eroding because of the policies and agenda of this administration. Overdevelopment and the assault on Julianne’s Playground leaves me worried about the health, welfare and quality of life for the next generations. I am a proponent of progress and change, when it serves all of the community, not just some.

I came across a policy statement by the Pelham village board regarding the use of gas-powered leaf blowers:

“The Village of Pelham hereby finds that unlimited use of lawn maintenance equipment powered by internal-combustion engines, particularly so called ‘leaf blowers,’ impairs the economic and social welfare, health, peace and quality of life of persons residing in Pelham.” Also, another policy statement says, “The State of New York prohibits the idling of diesel engines for more than three minutes.”

Yet we are going to allow five very large diesel engines to be placed in a children’s playground. The diesel engines will have to be run on a regular basis for maintenance purposes, not only “when there is a large rain event,” as stated by (AI Engineers Vice President Anthony) Oliveri at a previous village board meeting. We are also going to dig a two-million-gallon sewer holding tank that will receive sewer water with all the contaminants from the streets of Pelham and have those contaminants stored and pumped from under the tennis courts.

The mayor and village board think this is okay because they are going to build a shack with flowers around it to house the five diesel engines. And it is my understanding that the scope of the project has increased since the last public meeting.

There is a flooding issue, streets and basements do get flooded, but we should not sacrifice the health and safety of one neighborhood, and more specifically, the children, for the flood mitigation of another. We are prioritizing property over the health and welfare of people. We should find another way to address this issue. Arthur Long’s question of cost/benefit for this $40 million project was never addressed, as far as I know. My question of cost/benefit is why is someone else’s property more valuable than the health and welfare of the residents and children in my neighborhood? Doesn’t our “economic and social welfare, health, peace and quality of life,” to quote the village board, count just as much as in someone else’s neighborhood and property.

As a first responder to the World Trade Center, I was told by Christine Whitman, the then administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, that the smoke and dust at ground zero had no toxic materials and was safe. We all know how that turned out. Don’t poison our children and neighborhood with toxic materials. Find another way.

Raymond Florida

550 Third Ave.

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  • S

    Shaun BreidbartJun 19, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    It doesn’t surprise me that Christine Whitman lied to you. That has no bearing on remedies to flooding in Pelham.

    These diesels have emission controls on them and would not be operating that frequently. Whereas those who heat their houses with oil (instead of natural gas, which is much less polluting) produce emissions most of the winter. And yes, we should also more strictly regulate gas-powered leaf-blowers, which are noisy and have no emission controls.

    The health of our neighbors is impacted when their basements flood. Mold is not healthy to breathe.

    Do you have an alternative solution?

    • T

      todd zuzuloJun 20, 2024 at 6:58 am

      the village should look into dredging the reservoir they last did it over 50 years ago and there never was any flooding
      take a walk down there and see what a mess it is

      • A

        Adam IlkowitzJun 21, 2024 at 4:14 pm

        Dredging wouldn’t work. It increases the capacity of the reservoir, but not it’s ability to store or move storm water faster. The underground tanks create empty storage for storm water, where the reservoir would already be full.