Friday, February 19, 2010

Addabbo Trashes LIC Rail Link for City Waste Disposal by Jeremy Walsh -

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State Sen. Joseph Addabbo speaks to constituents at Maspeth Town Hall last week. Photo by Jeremy Walsh

Putting a rail siding on the property of a waste transfer station in Long Island City is out, state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) said at a meeting in Maspeth Town Hall last week.

Speaking to about a dozen Maspeth residents last Thursday, Addabbo said the angle of the Waste Management station at 38-22 Review Ave. to the Long Island Rail Road tracks that would have to serve a rail siding was not suitable.

Addabbo said he wanted to speak to Waste Management, which is planning to expand the station as part of the city’s garbage strategy, about using barges to transport the waste. The company’s initial proposal called for solid waste to be transferred at the location from city trucks into sealed containers, which would then be taken by tractor-trailer a mile down the road to the Maspeth Rail Yard, where they would be loaded onto trains headed out of the city.

Maspeth and Middle Village residents are furious about the anticipated increase in truck traffic that the project would bring to their surface streets.

The expansion would increase the facility’s 1,000-ton capacity by 30 percent, bringing 25 more city garbage trucks to the location along Review Avenue and adding about 35 more tractor-trailers heading down the road to Maspeth, according to Waste Management.

Addabbo was also skeptical about the storm of criticism surrounding Paterson’s choice of Aqueduct Entertainment Group to install and maintain video lottery terminals at Aqueduct Race Track.

“AEG on its own is a good entity,” he said. “Nobody ever spoke about [the Rev.] Floyd Flake and Daryl Greene and how politically connected they were. It was only political when the governor selected it.”

Flake is the head of the Allen AME church and one of the most influential figures in southeast Queens. Greene is a minor stakeholder in AEG who was convicted of fraud 10 years ago.

He aired his frustrations, however, with delays in Albany over awarding the contract, which he said could have been done last year.

“Why did Steve Wynn back out? Because of the unprofessionalism of the process,” he said, referring to the Las Vegas casino magnate who once expressed interest in the site.

Addabbo also warned that if the contract is not agreed upon soon, the state may not receive the $300 million in fees the Aqueduct vendor is supposed to provide until the 2011 fiscal year, adding to the state’s budget woes.