Assembly members talk about new district lines

There are different ways to tell how the boundary lines have changed in the districts of state legislators in the aftermath of the re-apportionment process. You can look at a map, of course. Or you could go to a community board meeting and see which elected officials show up to ask for speaking time.

Two assembly members, Peter Abbate (D-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) and Felix Oritz came to the Community Board 10 meeting on Sept. 24 and both had news for members of the Bay Ridge board. Their respective assembly districts will now take in more of the neighborhood the board represents.

“I did pick up a bigger portion of Community Board 10,” Abbate said. Due to re-apportionment, his district will now extend as far west as Seventh Avenue in Bay Ridge. “Board 10 is not a stranger to me,” he said, adding that he has worked with the board on issues in the past.

Ortiz, whose old district lines touched only a small portion of Bay Ridge, will now have constituents as far south as 76th Street. “I look forward to working with you,” he told board members.

New maps for the districts in the state legislature, congress, and city council are drawn up once every decade following the U.S. Census. The Nov. 6 election will be the first to take place under the new district lines.

In other news, Board 10 Chairman Joanne Seminara reported that work is continuing to repair the sewer break that erupted in June 70 feet below ground on 92nd Street and Third Avenue.

The work is expected to be completed by the end of October, she said. The work is being done under the supervision of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (D.E.P.).

The sewer ruptured, causing water to escape and overflow below ground. As a result, a sinkhole formed at ground level and swallowed a tree.

No one was injured in the sinkhole emergency.

The board has been monitoring the progress of the repair project carefully, Seminara said.

“During the summer we hosted two large community meetings with residents and businesses where the Dept. of Environmental Protection Commissioner James Robert and other officials provided an overview of the problem and the cure and fielded many questions and complaints about odor, water, street access, and the entire process,” she said.

The work station set up on the corner of 92nd Street and Third Avenue has taken away several parking spaces, officials said. But Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann did manage to convince the city’s Department of Sanitation to suspend alternate side of the street regulations in the area, Seminara said.

“Within one month of our first meeting in July, the commissioner returned having heard our cries for an expedited work schedule and promised that work would be complete and street access returned by the end of October,” Seminara said. “We are not done yet, but we felt that a good community-government partnership was established in the handling of this very difficult project.”