GUEST POST: After Years of Daylighting, is New Rochelle Water Safe to Drink?

A plea to City officials

GUEST POST: After Years of Daylighting, is New Rochelle Water Safe to Drink?

NEW ROCHELLE, NY (August 24, 2022) -- I recently got a flat on my newly purchased tire. It occurred after driving over the metal plates on Main Street in New Rochelle. I called City Hall and no one could provide an answer on how I could file a claim with the City or with the Contractors.

Oy vey – what a drag!

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I grew up in a Hasidic household – my mother was a housekeeper there for over 10 years. I learn to be respectful, kind, resourceful, and tolerant. I also learned to speak up when you saw unfairness and injustice.

So back to New Rochelle.

Over the last two-plus years, our downtown has been transformed into a literal patchwork of steel plates in almost every street, including my neighborhood – the West End. Many of us who live in this area have had to, as City Officials say, tolerate this inconvenience for a couple of more years. As they have said repeatedly, our streets will return to normal eventually.


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Meanwhile, our small businesses are being impacted by this inconvenience. Some businesses have closed; some are in the process of closing, and others will soon close. My family has always patronized the small businesses downtown, but parking is increasingly impossible. I can’t even get to my dry cleaner Green Heaven on Centre and Westchester Place or go shopping at C-Town, where my mother shopped for 20 years.

I get it that we needed development, but all at once. It has been remarkable planning, and the Mayor and his dream team of developers have gone full tilt without being mindful of the impact it would have on the small businesses downtown; many of which are owned by women or people of color.

Oy vey again.

So let me get to my point: As they say in Star Wars, we’ve had a serious disturbance of the water force. I am increasingly concerned about the safety of our drinking water.

I want City Government officials to address whether the has there been continuous and consistent testing of our drinking water in all the impacted areas where construction has occurred and is occurring? Near our schools? Can you share the results of this testing (independent testing please and not paid by the developer)?

Should we be buying water test kits? What are the Lead levels in our water? Should we be concerned with PFAS in our drinking water? Can we get an amen, please?

My request to the Mayor and his municipal government: can we get test results for the last two years for the impacted areas in New Rochelle? Like ASAP! I asked Veolia, and they said that this question is best answered by the City.

I am worried, Mr. Mayor.

Are you?

Martin Sanchez is a West Ender and Advocate for "los de abajo".

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