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Resident Voices Concern Over Gas Leak

Board Issues Permit to National Grid for Emergency Repairs

As many village residents are enjoying summer days outside, one homeowner recently voiced concerns over the foul smell of gas in her neighborhood. Jane Cerny, a resident of Middleton Road, told the board of trustees that her quality of life and that of her neighbors is being adversely affected by what she claims to be an ongoing gas leak that National Grid has yet to repair.

“Going back to January, there has been a gas leak on that corner. In the last three weeks, National Grid has been there six times. The first time, I addressed the worker [from National Grid], they told me the gas leak is not within 25 feet of any home, so, therefore, it is classified as a number three leak and if they get to it, they’ll get to it; they don’t have to do anything about it,” Cerny stated, adding that the same worker from National Grid told her Garden City would not issue a permit to repair it because they don’t want to “rip up roads in the village.”

Mayor Robert J. Rothschild inquired as to who the person was that told her the information. “Well I have many, many complaints not only from me but from all four people on all corners that National Grid has been six or seven times already. I called the Power Commission and a gentlemen came to my house,” Cerny told the mayor. “He told me the leak would be repaired but that I should not anticipate it very quickly. We gave them permission to do it but now they have to go back to Garden City and the village takes more than a month to give permission to dig up the road,” she added.

The mayor responded, “All I can tell you sitting right here, right now is that if that is the case, then they’ll have a permit tomorrow. I don’t believe that’s the case,” he said. “If there’s a leak that’s an emergency, I don’t care how big or small the leak is, that’s an emergency,” the mayor said. The mayor went on to say, “Whoever you’re getting your information from I don’t think has told the Village of Garden City that there is an issue here. I will ask…I am glad you brought it to our attention.”

“If anyone would like to sit on my porch, be my guest. You cannot sit there for more than 10 or 15 minutes because the smell is horrible,” Cerny told the board. The mayor said that a situation such as this was “unacceptable.”

Village Administrator Robert Schoelle asked the resident for the specific location of the leak. Cerny claimed the site was on the corner of Princeton and Middleton roads, closer to the house east of Middleton Road where the concrete had a large patch on it. “It still smells. This morning when my neighbor went to work at 7:30 [a.m.], she said she walked out of her house and she turned around again and walked back in because she couldn’t stand the gas smell that hit her when she walked out of her house.” Schoelle replied, “I can certainly appreciate that and we’ll have somebody there tomorrow.”

As of press time, Schoelle told Garden City Life that the matter was addressed the following morning after the board meeting. “We called them [National Grid] Friday morning to get them out there to repair it. They started it yesterday and they dropped off a new [gas] main and the installation should have been completed today [July 23],” Schoelle explained, adding that the permit was issued right away. “When there is an emergency, go ahead with the work and we’ll get to the permit. That’s expedited,” he said. “Everything seems fine now,” Schoelle said.

In case of a gas emergency, residents can call National Grid at 1-800-490-0045 (24 hours a day, every day of the year).