Peekskill Mayor Frank Catalina announced that, in response to his July 1 letter to Consolidated Edison demanding action on street repaving in areas that have been dug up for a major gas line replacement project over the past year, the city and Con Ed have reached a preliminary agreement for the utility to pay the city $338,193 immediately for the city to assume responsibility for the repaving of 16 of the damaged streets.
Negotiations are ongoing concerning the remaining three streets and the amount the city will receive. Catalina said he expects a final settlement on all street repairs to be concluded before the end of this week.
“These negotiations had dragged on for far too long,” Catalina said in a late Monday afternoon press release. “I am glad I was able to push this to conclusion. This agreement represents a majority of the affected areas. Those streets include Lockwood Drive, Albert Road, Frost Court, Highland Avenue, Orchard Street, North James Street, Cortlandt Street, Howard Street, Oakwood Drive, King Street, Lyman Avenue, Bernard Street and Harrison Avenue. We actually prefer to do the work ourselves for several reasons. First, our men are the best workers in the county and by doing some of this work in-house, they may earn well-deserved overtime without affecting our departmental budgets or our overburdened taxpayers. Second, it prevents us from microscoping every detail of the repaving job to make sure corners are not being cut. Lastly, it allows our engineers to determine which areas will be addressed first and allows the City to do the repaving on our timetable and not rely on Con Edison for its completion.”
Catalina added that areas that the city will bid to outside contractors will be discussed at Monday night’s Common Council’s work session.
Earlier Monday, The Peekskill Post sent a series of questions via email to Con Ed Public Affairs Manager Jane Solnick. She has not yet replied to that email.
Today’s announcement follows days of discussions between the city and Con Ed. For further background on the matter, below is text from an email the mayor sent to The Peekskill Post last Saturday—a week after he emailed the July 1 letter to Con Ed.
Con Edison replied within 12 hours of my communication. I knew they were in ‘negotiations’ with the city to pay us money and let us do the repaving (we actually can do it cheaper AND make money when they pay US instead of third party contractors and avoids our having to supervise them, etc.) The negotiations were dragging on and on and on.
My email letter brought about the following results—so far:
- They stopped haggling the city on the amount of the payment and are paying us the original payment we demanded, without reduction. They FedExed the paperwork Thursday and we are waiting for the city manager to return Monday from vacation, to review and sign it before making a formal press release.
2. In addition to the above, they sent up two engineers to inspect the streets with our city engineer and identified the 10 worst potholes requiring attention and sent a crew up yesterday to patch those holes regardless of the payment described in #1 above. The crews will be working over the weekend (I was told) to complete those emergency repairs.