Larry Schwartz, a resident of Dean Street between Sixth and Carlton avenues sent a letter yesterday to Council Member Letitia James, who had brought up rodent complaints at the Atlantic Yards District Cabinet meeting May 19 only to be reminded that Forest City Ratner is responsible only for on-site abatement and that making the developer responsible off-site would lead to a slippery slope of blame.
Rats infesting the garbage
Yesterday as I came home around 8 pm, I observed at least 6 or 7 rats all scurrying in and out of a garbage bag in front of my building that had been placed there for pickup today. All these rats scurried into the garage that is next door to our building. This garage has become infested with rats. Obviously, there is nothing we can do about placing garbage on the sidewalk for pickup. Either the city or Forest City Ratner has to deal with this problem. There are many kids in the neighborhood, and it is a very disturbing health issue.James's comment
I have attached 3 photos I took. While only one rat is clearly shown in the photos, please trust me that that whole bag was literally filled with them. This is an urgent matter, and I hope you can help facilitate a solution quickly.
"The source of this problem is clearly related to the Atlantic Yards Project," commented James, who, it should be noted, would be pressed to prove that.
"FCR should therefore be held accountable for rodent abatement in and around the footprint, today. Failure to address this problem is just another example of their disregard for the quality of life issues residents of Prospect Heights are dealing with as a result of this ill conceived and financially challenged project."
Schwartz also sent letters to the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and the Atlantic Yards Community Liaison Office.
I queried the ESDC myself. Spokeswoman Elizabeth Mitchell responded, "Site contractors had a rodent control specialist perform a site inspection last week. Several rodent burrows were discovered and plugged with grout. In addition, additional bait traps were deployed. ESD’s environmental monitor HDR will continue to ensure that periodic inspections are conducted thoroughly and properly."
That suggests that rodents were leaving the site to enter the neighborhood. But Forest City Ratner and ESDC monitors are responsible only for securing the site.