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Residents, Businesses Cry Foul Over Proposed Cuts to Lower Manhattan Group

Monday, April 09, 2012

City Council member Margaret Chin and representatives from Community Board 1 protested the governor’s proposed downsizing of the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center.

The agency – established in 2004 by then-Governor George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg - serves as a point of contact for residents and small business owners to help mitigate quality of life issues stemming from construction throughout Lower Manhattan.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in January that the staff would be reduced from seven to three full-time members.  

Laresa Yakubov, owner of Daniella Hair Salon at 28 John Street, said street closures in the area has an impact on foot traffic that shop owners count on.  

“That’s why we need the LMCCC to be at full capacity,” Chin said, “so that small businesses and residents can stay on this block.”  

Noise levels, lack of access and concerns over whether emergency vehicles can reach areas surrounded by cranes and construction vehicles are persistent problems for Lower Manhattan, according to Chin.

She says that if the LMCCC is not properly funded, then residents and small business owners have to deal with each developer or agency overseeing a construction project on their own.

A spokesman for Governor Cuomo said the cutback is under review.

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