Council will also vote on legislation to ensure that elevators are repaired in a timely fashion.
City Hall – Today the City Council will on legislation increasing transparency for city parks. Additionally, the Council will vote on legislation referring unrepaired immediately hazardous elevator-related violations to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development for consideration under the emergency repair program. Finally, the Council will vote on legislation mandating a community air quality survey be performed and reported annually by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Introduction 154-A, sponsored by Council Member Brad Lander, will require the Parks Department (DPR) to issue an annual report to the Mayor and Council on the resources it allocates for maintenance on a park-by-park basis and post updated information regarding the status of its funded capital projects online. This report will include:
• The name, size and identification number of each park.
• Whether each park has permanent or mobile maintenance staff assigned to it.
• The weekly average, and dollar value, of work-hours performed by maintenance staff at each property on a quarterly basis.
• The value of specialized maintenance work performed at each property.
• The number of parks enforcement patrol officers assigned borough-wide.
DPR will be required to post information on each capital project on its website, updated at least quarterly, including a detailed description and the location of each project, the actual or estimated starting and completion dates of each phase of each project and the total amount of funds allocated to each project.
This bill takes effect immediately.
“Disparate conditions and resources between various parks in our city has been an important issue in New York City for many years,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “By making more data available on where resources are being allocated across the department, the Council is taking an important step in addressing this issue.”
“For too long, it has been impossible to know what the City is spending in each of our parks, whether our capital program is on track, and whether every community is getting its fair share. Today’s bill will solve that problem,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “Thanks to the Parks Department for working with us to improve transparency, and for doing the hard work of bringing their tracking and management systems into the 21st century. Together with the work of Parks Committee Chair Levine, Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Silver, New Yorkers for Parks and other advocates, this bill is one more step toward making sure that every NYC neighborhood has the first-rate parks our families need.”
Elevator Repairs by The Department of Housing Preservation and Development
Under the emergency repair program, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has the power to repair any condition in a multiple dwelling that is dangerous to human life and safety or detrimental to health. HPD has never used this power, however, to repair elevators.
Introduction 462-A, sponsored by Council Member James Vacca, would require DOB to refer immediately hazardous elevator-related violations to HPD for consideration under the emergency repair program, if DOB finds that the owner has not corrected such violations. It would also require HPD to report on the number of such referrals and on any actions taken under the emergency repair program in response to such referrals.
“Working elevators are a necessity, not a luxury to the numerous residents of New York City who live in apartment buildings,” said Council Member James Vacca. “No one, especially not persons with disabilities, the elderly, expectant mothers, or families with young children should be stranded in their homes simply because a landlord has failed to repair an elevator in a timely manner. My legislation will enable the city to treat prolonged elevator outages the same as heat and hot water complaints, requiring the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to consider emergency elevator violations as part of the emergency repair program. After months of negotiations, I believe this is strong legislation that will positively affect the lives of countless New Yorkers. I thank Speaker Mark-Viverito, Chair Williams, the sponsors of the bill, and the administration for their attention to this important bill.”
Community Air Quality Surveys
Though air quality in New York has improved in recent years, polluted air remains a serious health problem in many neighborhoods around the city. Since 2007, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) has conducted annual air quality surveys to measure air pollution in New York City.
Introduction 712-A, sponsored by Council Member Corey Johnson, would mandate this air quality measuring program and would ensure that it continues to be a rich data source for public health officials, advocates, and others. The surveyors would be required to measure air pollution around New York City, and to determine the relationship between air pollution levels around the city and factors such as traffic and building emissions. Based on the data collected, DOHMH would be required to issue an annual report to the Council by April 22nd (Earth Day) of each year, and to post the report on its website.
This bill will go into effect 120 days after becoming law.
“One of our government’s highest priorities should be to ensure that the air we breathe will not pose a risk to our health,” said Council Member Corey Johnson, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Health. “By mandating air quality data collection and analysis, this legislation will make sure that New York City identifies the major sources of air pollution, a key step if we are to improve our air quality. Ultimately, this effort will save lives by helping to prevent the development of pollution related ailments such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. I want to thank my colleague Council Member Costa Constantinides for his strong leadership on this issue.”