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Parks & Public Spaces

Bryant Park Corporation's presentation of proposed power facility project

WHEREAS, Bryant Park Corporation has presented Community Board Five with a detailed informational overview of their proposed power facility upgrade project during our Parks Committee meeting on Monday February 28, 2011; and

WHEREAS, Currently, when larger special event activities are conducted, i.e. CitiPond Ice Skating Rink, the Holiday Shops, and the HBO free summer movie screenings, power generating trailers are temporarily installed on Sixth Avenue; and

WHEREAS, The usage of these temporary power trailers generates constant noise and diesel pollution, involves the usage of hundreds of cables and wires, occupies street space that is normally used for the bus lane, creates traffic and pedestrian safety issues, and these have a negative visual impact on Bryant Park and the surrounding neighborhood; and

WHEREAS, In an effort to alleviate all of these issues, and to modernize the parks operations, Bryant Park Corporation proposes to construct a permanent underground power facility which would be located along West 40th Street east of Sixth Avenue; and

WHEREAS, The proposed power facility would not negatively impact the New York Public Library, nor would this occupy any of the library's underground vault space; and

WHEREAS, The proposed upgrade would include the protection and preservation of all of the park's trees, with the exception of the loss of one 17 inch diameter London Plane, for which the Parks Department and Bryant Park Corporation are finalizing restitution for the taking of this tree; and

WHEREAS, Dwarf boxwoods and mixed perennials/seasonal annuals would be planted around vault grates; and

WHEREAS, There would be a single access stair for the facility, and the top of the door would be finished with a bluestone veneer to fully blend into the existing bluestone pavers; and

WHEREAS, The project site would be replaced in kind, there would be no above ground features, and only the ingress hatch door flaps would be open infrequently for inspections of preventative maintenance; and

WHEREAS, Bryant Park Corporation's proposed upgrade project is fully coordinated with Con Ed, has already acquired Department of Transportation approvals for MPT on West 40th Street, and is being reviewed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and by the Landmarks Preservation Commission; and

WHEREAS, At this time Bryant Park Corporation is poised to commence with the public bid process, and construction may start in March and might be completed in Mid-October 2011; and

WHEREAS, Once completed, the proposed upgrade project would fit almost seamlessly into the historic landscape, and serves a solution to long standing mechanical, environmental, transportation and pedestrian issues; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five is supportive of Bryant Park Corporation's proposed power facility project.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 29 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.

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