Regarding the April 8 letter, "A.C. is an embarrassment to residents."
We understand the writer's frustration, however, we take issue with the characterization of this administration as unresponsive. In defense of our performance record concerning the city's Public Works and Licensing and Inspection Departments, we offer the following:
Four years ago, Bernie Robbins Stadium had been abandoned and had fallen into disrepair. This administration took ownership, cleaned it up, rehabilitated it and made it functional.
This administration has been the most aggressive ever when it comes to the demolition of derelict properties. We took down several Chelsea neighborhood properties that were featured on the city's Top 10 eyesore list. The demolition of two other eyesore buildings on Roosevelt Place and the Boardwalk is under way. Since 2011, we have held demolition hearings for a total of 95 properties throughout the city. We are currently processing 45 other properties.
The Shade Tree Committee has removed more than 100 hazardous storm-damaged trees in the 5th and 6th Wards alone. We have replaced the damaged sidewalk along Texas Avenue leading to the Texas Avenue Playground. Last year we patched 1,300 potholes throughout the city. As of this writing, the area of Atlantic Avenue near Boston, Montpelier and Sovereign avenues has been temporarily patched as a stopgap measure. Furthermore, our request for funding to pave Atlantic Avenue from Boston to Missouri has just been approved.
In Chelsea Heights, we have purchased open space along South Boulevard Avenue to support a proposed promenade. We have also constructed the Filbert Avenue overlook. A $2 million redevelopment of the Chelsea Heights ball field is imminent. Additionally, we have applied for $4.8 million to facilitate the South Boulevard and Raleigh Avenue flood-control project, as well as our match of $2.8 million to begin the reconstruction and elevation of Albany Avenue.
There is also a $5.3 million project in the works for the Sunset Avenue flood-control project in the Chelsea/Ducktown section.
We remain diligent with respect to graffiti removal. We have made considerable improvements and upgrades to Pete Pallitto Field, as well as the Texas Avenue Playground.
The Public Works Department hauled away 10 million pounds of storm-related debris as a result of Hurricane Sandy, with the overwhelming majority coming from Chelsea Heights. Our Public Works Department did an outstanding job with storm cleanup. It has done equally well with snow removal.
In regard to the Chelsea Heights Firehouse, the unexpected finding and removal of asbestos, coupled with insurance delays, handicapped our ability to move expeditiously. However, this restoration project is currently under way.
In the midst of criticism there is always room for balance. We respectfully submit that this administration has been the most responsive and our positives far outweigh our negatives.
Director, Public Works
Director, Licensing and Inspection