NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Queens residents say they have asked the state and the city to clean up a cemetery of sunken boats and barges for years.
Now, it even prevents businesses from opening up.
One is the bot lane with a crane sticking out.
“For 15 years, I have seen these cranes underwater,” said Edwin Williams, president of the Heart of Rockaway Citizens Association. “Only one East Coast Resilience Projectbut it is mainly focused on Manhattan. We are like a forgotten part of New York City ”.
Lifetime resident Johann Smiley and his son bought the bay land on Amstel Avenue a year ago. They wanted to revive the area with a dock and restaurant, but barges were getting in the way.
He said it was a series of finger-pointing and broken promises from various state agencies and cities.
“They totally don’t care what’s going on here,” Johann Smiley told CBS2’s Lisa Rozner.
He said the barge was owned by Anthony Rivara Jr. The Anthony Rivara Contract Contract, formerly known as the Pile Foundation, is said to own neighboring real estate.
The Smileys says he is a contractor for the Macombs Dam.
“The trash on this barge came from the barge he drove to the Macombs Dam,” Smiley said.
Sources confirm they belong to Anthony Rivara and this is not the first time he has had this problem.
Rivara was previously fined hundreds of thousands of dollars by the state for “unworthy barge” in other parts of the city.
He did not return CBS2 calls.
The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation says it has limited authority, but may take action.
CBS2 reached out to Queens Borough President. “Borough President Richards was aware of the situation and our office made a number of requests with different City and State agencies to try to resolve this issue,” the spokesperson said. . We will continue to pursue this until the barge is relocated. These barges cause an eye to the community and hinder economic development, so we will not rest until we find a solution.
Eliminating barges costs millions of dollars. Federal law gives the Coast Guard the authority to relocate a barge in an emergency, but a spokesperson told us that a survey of the area in October found no pollution.