Friday, October 2, 2009

Newsday story on your Town government at work

This posting is not about you-know-what, but it is a great story about our helpful Brookhaven Town government and its employees.   It's a composite of several emails received today from members of the Fire Place History Club.

Who ya gonna call?

--- when you want help restoring your historic building?  House Busters (AKA the Town of Brookhaven, Department of Parks and Recreation).

Here are some quotes from the Newsday article (Newsday, October 2, 2009, click headline for article):

Coram Landmark LI House --- It's History

Bid to renovate an 1824 house turns to dust in Coram

The historic Mott House before the workers of Brookhaven Town came on Monday to help. They were going to clean it up and get it ready for restoration.

Now you see it, now you don't

The historic Mott House on Thursday, after the Brookhaven Town workers had finished their "clean up" job.

. . . the workers went in to clean the 185-year-old building . . . but then . . .

. . . workers over a period of three days removed parts of the building

. . . Community members watched workers remove the . . . windows and interior doors and the floor-to-ceiling cabinets.

"We went in there with the best of intentions," [Parks Commissioner Edward] Morris said. "It's an unfortunate incident."

According to two former parks department employees, a 2006 study determined that the Mott House was structurally sound.

"What I don't understand is the removing of things like windows and doors." [said Joel Snodgrass of Historic Construction Management.]

The Town had intended to put $89,000 toward the renovation of the site.

Gordon Heights residents had . . . drafted a federal Community Development Block Grant fund application . . . to restore the building. "Now we are in a situation where we have until Oct. 6 to put together a totally different CDBG application."

The site was quickly cleared. . . . In the haste to clear the site, Brookhaven squandered an opportunity to examine the debris . . .

Supervisor Mark Lesko said that he would launch an investigation. "I don't know what happened here, but we need to find out."

[Deputy Parks Commissioner Carol] Bissonette did not return repeated calls for comment.

Councilwoman Connie Kepert offered a resolution to have experts help the town with its historic sites.

And we want these people to maintain our historic cemeteries? The timing of the Town Parks Department's incompetence being exposed couldn't be better for the Fire Place History Club.  Sometime this month the Town has to respond to our cemetery maintenance lawsuit. The article also reminds us that we, the FPHC, need to come up with ideas on how to preserve some of our own historic buildings outside of the Fire Place Historic District, such as the Barteau house in front of the Barteau cemetery along Montauk Highway. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yeah, this is complete incompetence. i am sure they didn't mean for it to happen, and i am sure they didn't know what the hell they were doing.