Today’s news:

CI hangout finally secured

It had become a rite of passage for young people to use an empty wooded lot on City Island as a hang out and dumping ground for everything from cars to furniture.

Now it appears that that the site will finally be secured, and neighborhood teens will hopefully channel their energies into more productive activities.

Thanks to the help of Senator Jeff Klein, the long neglected vacant parcel, next to a protected wetlands area, has been cleaned and fenced off at the expense of its owner. 

“This is a tremendous victory for the people of City Island because this has been an eyesore for the longest time,” said Klein. “We forced the owner to fence off the property, and clean up any garbage that had collected.”

 The lot, located between Tier and Ditmars streets on City Island, has been a trouble spot going back 30 years, with trails being cut, bonfires lit, and illicit activity occurring in the large, waterfront location.

The vacant lot, coming to be called by City Island youth “the Tier Street lots” for almost a generation, always lacked proper barriers to prevent entrance of unauthorized people.

While in more recent years parts of the lot have been turned into homes, much of it remains vacant and unused, drawing a lot of attention from neighborhood teenagers who want to use it as a hang out.  Their desire has since been thwarted. 

“Owner Hiam Joseph put up a fence at the instigation of Senator Klein,” said Tier Street resident Barbara Dolensek. “There was a lot of vandalism at the site, trees down, etc. The fence is now up on Tier Street, and activity among the teens has quieted down.”

In the process of fencing off the property, Joseph also cleared the area of fallen trees and any garbage that had collected along its borders.

“We had gotten a phone call from an elected official’s office about the lot,” said Joseph. “We put up a fence to keep people out of the site. We had meant to put up a fence anyway.”

Joseph indicated he had no immediate plans for development of the parcel of land that remains wooded.

“We are going to have the Department of Environmental Conservation monitor the site,” said Klein, “but in the meantime, this is a tremendous improvement and victory for people who live nearby.” 

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