Sometime in the next two weeks, there will be a groundbreaking for the new eastside Fire and Emergency Medical Services station. This has been a long time coming. With the construction of water and sewer lines on the eastern plateau decades ago, there was an explosion of development in that area of the city. There were, however, longer response times for emergency services to get there from the city’s two existing fire stations.
When Chris Mathiessen became Commissioner of Public Safety, he made a valiant effort to secure land for an eastside station to serve this fast-developing area of the city. A deal he made with a local synagogue and Joel Aronson, who owns the Algonquin Building, for a land swap involving a plot east of the Northway collapsed when the Attorney General rejected the agreement.
It was Mayor Meg Kelly who entered into the negotiations with the New York Racing Association that finally secured the land required for the station at no cost to the city. Kelly deserves enormous praise for finally acquiring a site for the project for the city.
It now remains to be seen whether the current city administration will have the courtesy to recognize her work by inviting Ms. Kelly to the groundbreaking ceremony. I hope they do.