569 Quincy Avenue, Staten Island the day after Sandy hit
Everyone has seen images of 569 Quincy Avenue, Staten Island representing a post-Sandy devastated home. Owner, Michael Taurozzi’s house is the FIRST of the 200 homes scheduled for demolition Monday, January 14. Taurozzi finally signed “right for entry” papers with the City Friday 1/11/13 at 4:30 pm.
You may remember the Page One story the Wall Street Journal on Taurozzi and his next door neighbor James Rossi, who died in the storm on November 5th: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203846804578099212607165222.html?KEYWORDS=Wave+of+Death+Hit+New+York+Enclave
Nub of Nub Grafix, Michael Taurozzi, Frank Inzerillo, Silver Back, Laura Gatti and Zack Schwartz... and bulldog Meech.
Now fast forward two months… The City had held a meeting of all the agencies involved in the demolition of Taurozzi’s “RED TAGGED” home, Thursday 1/10/13 (Taurozzi was not invited to attend), but he was called and advised that the papers needed to be signed on Friday.
NYC Department of Housing Notice of Demolition
Then without any notification, Friday 1/11/13 at 11 am the DOT under instructions from OEM and the mayors office “towed” the Taurozzi’s daily work truck off his property, without his knowledge. When Taurozzi arrived at 7 pm Friday evening to begin work removing his final belongings from his property he was stunned to find his truck missing, so he called he police to report it “stolen.”
DOT returning Taurozzi’s truck
The police responded and after three hours of waiting in the rain they concluded that due to the pending order of demolition in addition to a neighbor seeing a tow truck come take the truck, they refused to take a stolen vehicle report and suggested that it was “FEMA’s fault. Although they had NO RECORD of a tow order, they instructed Taurozzi follow up himself in the morning with FEMA.
Taurozzi is pleased that his truck was returned, although stripped of all his tools while in the custody of the DOT. Joe of Gateway Demo, speaking to DOT tow truck driver Tom, in the background
After standing guard for the remainder of the night, sleeping in his car, he was awakened by the delivery of large demolition equipment owned by “Gateway Demo.”
Taurozzi (in black) and friend, Zack Schwartz making a report of stolen tools & belongings with officers who responded from the 122 Precinct
At 9:00 am Taurozzi called Gateway Demo, owner Joe, who in turn made a call to OEM... Taurozzi’s truck was located and after 4 hours was returned by a DOT tow truck and driver Tom, who had picked it up the previous morning. After doing an inventory approximately $500 of Taurozzi’s tools were missing from the truck. He then filed a police report with the 122 regarding the missing tools. No one had any answers, apologies, or restitution.
Taurozzi, a NYC MTA train operator, lost his home, three vehicles and it’s entire contents of his home in Superstorm Sandy, he still awaits his insurance company to settle and because he HAS flood insurance FEMA did not pay out... and now this!
After asbestos abatement
On January 4th, the city also entered Taurozzi’s property without his authorization and did an asbestos abatement prior to the “right of entry”. The subcontractors entered his property moved and destroyed things on Taurozzi’s property; they broke the main water main and left it running. Taurozzi came home to find 4 feet of water in his basement, the things he was trying to salvage strewn around the yard. (New garbage cans were found under the leaking area) He called every department listed on a notice stapled to his house but each office denied wrongdoing and passed the buck ignoring his complaint!!! At that time the City DID NOT HAVE signed documentation for “Right for Entry.”
Tools and equipment thrown in the mud by asbestos abatement contractors
THIS is how the city is handling Sandy Victims. I put in a call Governor Cuomo’s office, and spoke with Ronnie Cohen of Mayor Bloomberg’s Special Sandy Task force. Neither offices have plans to have representatives present as the homes are demolished nor do they have plans in place to support victims who’s homes are being demolished.
Flooded basement after asbestos abatement contractors broke the main water main
It sickens me that the City has no liaison teams or advocates working with residents who are suffering though an indescribable experience.
Abatement Notice, left AFTER work was done, without Taurozzi’s being notified
Who will stand next to Taurozzi on the day his home falls to the ground? Who? Or will Taurozzi’s “knock a man when he’s down” experiences be the taste that will remain with him forever regarding how he feels about how the City and State of New York’s handle Sandy victims?
Rear of house after asbestos abatement
So, regardless if the City has just violated the last bit of tolerance this hard working, tax paying young man has… the clock ticks and the bulldozers are coming whether Taurozzi can get his final belongings out or not!
Taurozzi’s work truck was towed away from where it was parked legally next to this car. It was parked on his property in front of his home at 569 Quincy Ave. The truck was purchased after the storm, had valid NY plates, was inspected & registered.
The house to the left belongs to Taurozzi’s neighbor, James Rossi, who passed away in the storm.
Michael Taurozzi, home owner 569 Quincy Avenue
Here’s a note from the January 18, 2013 issue of The Week Magazine:
The House of Representatives approved a $9.7 billion relief package for victims of Hurricane Sandy last week, but waited to consider a request for another $51 billion in federal aid. The approved funds will replenish the National Flood Insurance Program, which will help residents of storm-ravaged New York and New Jersey. But many House Republicans are skeptical of the larger bill up for a vote on Jan. 15, complaining that the Senate loaded it with pork-barrel spending for other areas of the country. Speaker John Boehner was lambasted last week by lawmakers from New York and New Jersey, including Republican Gov. Chris Christie, for failing to schedule a vote on Sandy relief in the last session of Congress, thus delaying funding vital for recovery. This, said Christie, is “why people hate Washington.”
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