An abandoned construction site in Bath Beach has been pooling with rainwater for more than a year, posing a health risk for residents, according to neighbors and elected officials.
Since at least October of last year, the gated area at 2728 Bath Avenue has been filled with murky green water — presumably becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes and parasites — according to Department of Buildings (DOB) records.
ViolationS have been filed with the DOB since 2009, when neighbors reported squatters at the boarded-up house. The home was demolished in 2012, but in 2014, neighbors complained that excessive drilling at the site was causing cracks to form in their own walls. Since April of this year, the DOB has fined the landlord nearly $10,000 for the standing water, with no resolution.
“The site that has been neglected by a contractor for years and essentially has turned into a mosquito-infested lake,” said Councilman Mark Treyger, who visited the site on Bath Avenue and Bay 46th Street Wednesday.
The councilman was joined by Assemblyman William Colton, District Leaders Charles Ragusa and Nancy Tong, a DOB official, a representative for the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs, and community activists, to inspect the site and come up with solutions.
Treyger, who was initially notified of the pooling water by parishioners at Most Precious Blood Church, said attempts by the DOB and Health Department to reach the property’s owner have been unsuccessful.
“If the owner doesn’t respond to the violation and fix up his property in a timely manner, the city government will have the work done and bill the owner,” said Tryeger. “We will keep the pressure up to have this public health hazard addressed expeditiously.”
Our neighborhoods have been frequently flagged by the Health Department for the mosquito-born Zika Virus and West Nile Virus. Southern Brooklyn and Staten Island are regularly sprayed by the city with pesticides to eradicate the bugs, particularly during the summer months. To learn how to protect yourself from mosquito-born illnesses, click here.
Update [August 12, 3:41pm]: Councilman Mark Treyger has informed us that, as of this morning, the owner of the property has drained the hole and filled it with dirt.
The councilman posted this status, along with a photo, on Facebook:
Happy to say that, working with Assemblymember William Colton, District Leaders Charles Ragusa and Nancy Tong, and City officials, specifically Dan Abramson, the pond has been filled in just a day later. This is welcome news, as residents in this area should never have had to live with such a public health hazard. We will continue to work with City officials to ensure that the contractor continues to make progress with the property. Thank you again to the local residents and Most Precious Blood parishioners, especially Anna Maria Messina-Walsh who advocated on behalf of their neighbors.