Friday, December 16, 2005
CBA question recurs: is it for the "Brooklyn community" or "minority community"?
So, is the Community Benefits Agreement [CBA] regarding Atlantic Yards supposed to help the local "community" or the minority "community"? There's an interesting tension there, because the signatories are local (and minority), but several beneficiaries are hardly local, with none based on Brooklyn and some outside New York City.
The question remains. According to a Forest City Ratner press release issued today (after apparently giving the New York Times advance notice for today's paper) regarding the demolition of six buildings:
In accordance with the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) signed earlier this year, FCRC has hired Safety Environmental Company of New York, a Staten Island based, minority-owned engineering firm to oversee air monitoring and safety requirements during the abatement. Top Line Contracting will handle the abatement as a subcontractor to Gateway Demolition Corp., who will perform the demolition.
...Gas and electricity to the buildings will be disconnected by the local utility companies, and the water and sewer lines to the buildings will be permanently disconnected in the streets by Lloyd G. Drummand Plumbing and General Contracting, a minority-owned business from Queens. Buildings will be exterminated by a minority-owned business which has yet to be awarded.
Note that the contractor's name, according to his web site, is Lloyd G. Drummond.
Most but not all of the groups endorsing the CBA are Brooklyn-based, and the document includes this passage (p. 2):
Whereas, the Coalition and the Developers seek to maximize the benefits of the Project to residents of Brooklyn, as well as minority and women construction, professional and operational workers and business owners and thereby to encourage systemic changes in the traditional ways of doing business on large urban development projects...
Businesses based in Queens and Staten Island may fulfill one aspect of the CBA's goals, but they don't necessarily help residents of Brooklyn.