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Philipse Manor Residents Seek Con Ed Answers

Con Edison will be coming to thousands of properties to bury new gas lines; for now they are tearing up Philipse Manor and the residents aren't happy.

Villagers: brace yourselves. The nightmare that has already come to Webber Park and is now in Philipse Manor will happen someday come to your neighborhood.

Con Edison and its contractor, in this case, Persico, are laying new gas lines and, said Trustee Bruce Campbell, “perhaps people are not aware of how extensive” this work will be. “They need to access every house, dig holes in every road and in virtually every lawn.”

One resident, Cathy Golub, director of the Philipse Manor Improvement Association, sees only the opposite of improvement in her DeVries Avenue home where work began three years ago and continues to this day. In this week's , she complained of a chronic three-year gas leak and a huge dirt patch over which some grass seed had once been sprinkled.

Her letter, which began as a email sent to Trustees, the Mayor and her neighbors, has initiated an ongoing dialogue between the village and the residents in the hopes of better dealings with the companies going forward.

In response to her email, Village Administrator Anthony Giaccio visited Golub's residence and then talked with people from Con Edison and Persico who assured him they would be restoring properties to their original conditions. Giaccio offered the nervous folks down the line these suggestions:

  1. Whenever possible, residents should take before and after photos.
  2. Residents should be proactive with Con Ed and the contractor before the work begins to let them know about specific concerns.
  3. If the residents get no satisfaction, have them call me directly 914-366-5105.

Resident Susan Lewis asked in return how they could be proactive with Con Ed and the contractor “if we don't know their schedule, or what they will be doing on our property (I for one haven't the vaguest idea), or whom to contact?"

Con Edison and the contractor must contact residents before work begins to gain access, with the general plan of action being DeVries Avenue going north. However, said Giaccio, “An exact schedule is difficult to predict.” The contractors would be taking before and after pictures as well. While there's also no timetable for property restoration, Giaccio called for residents to “be a little patient.”

Trustee Bruce Campbell estimated a three-month window. "People should understand that they are in for three months or so of unpleasantness, including digging in lawns and in or near plantings," he said, adding that Con Edison would do their best to make sure things were restored on properties to their original state. "There will be a lot of inconvenience but we will work to keep it to a minimum."

The Persico contractor apparently told Golub that he had 4,000 properties coming up. She in turn told Giaccio that it shouldn't be the village's job to make up for where Con Edison and their contractors might be overbooked and/or understaffed. 

"This is Con Ed’s job to properly inform us," Golub said. "We are their paying customers and we need to be treated better as customers... Sleepy Hollow certainly shouldn’t have to pick up their slack. They will have their hands full trying to appease people like me."

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Are you a Webber Park resident who experienced this process? What was your experience with Con Edison and their contractors? Or do you live in Philipse Manor (or elsewhere) and worry for what will come? Tell us in the comments.

cliff Berger August 02, 2012 at 10:32 AM
Better to have your lawn and garden torn up for one season than to have your house explode due to an old, rotten gas line.
Catherine Golub August 02, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Except it wasn't an "old rotten line". It was a brand spankin new line installed just three years ago. (with no advanced notice) They were planning to change out this new line (for the high pressure lines) and subsequently discovered the line was forced into place, kinked, ruptured and had been leaking gas into our basement for three years. Hence my frustration with the lack of coodination and communication. BTW, most of my neighbors are not having the issues we are having. Their line changes are being done with minimal inconvenience. Although the big trucks, steel plates, piles of tar are going to affect everyone. I think the situation is improving after some noise and because Con Ed let their workers come back and there is more man power. I wish everyone good luck and hope that my experience helps to smooth out the process going forward.

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