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Hurricane-Damaged Boilers Will Be Replaced in New York Public Housing

By VIVIAN YEEMARCH 23, 2014 (NEW YORK TIMES)

Thousands of New York City public housing residents faced an agonizing wait for heat and hot water to return after Hurricane Sandy flooded their buildings’ boilers in 2012. Even after officials rushed temporary boilers to New York in the weeks after the storm, service has remained unreliable through two winters.

But under a deal between federal and city agencies that was announced Sunday, all 110 public housing buildings that have been relying on temporary boilers to serve 8,862 apartments will be getting new boilers, with the process expected to begin within six months. Under the terms of the $100 million agreement, federal funds will be used to reimburse the city’s financially stretched public housing authority for the costs of the temporary boilers as well as the new ones.

“The hardship is still real,” Senator Charles E. Schumer, who shepherded the deal between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the New York City Housing Authority, said on Sunday at the Stanley M. Isaacs Houses, a public housing development on the Upper East Side.

The temporary boilers are “not up to snuff,” he added. “We’ve cut through the red tape and we’ve brought this situation now to a speedy end.”

The housing authority has been spending $3 million per month to rent the temporary boilers since the storm — in all, about $56 million at developments in the Rockaways, in Coney Island and on the Lower East Side. The borrowed boilers have each been doing the work of multiple permanent boilers, 60 of which suffered flood damage.

The installation process is slated to start within six months, Mr. Schumer said, but it is unclear when all the boilers will be replaced.

Announcing the deal alongside Mayor Bill de Blasio and the chairwoman of the housing authority, Shola Olatoye, Mr. Schumer said the agreement would improve on FEMA’s normal policy of repairing, not replacing, damaged infrastructure. The original boilers had been showing their advanced age even before the hurricane hit, he said, making replacements all the more necessary.

The new boilers, which will be paid for with funds from the federal aid package for Hurricane Sandy victims, will be more water-resistant and built at higher elevations to help protect them from floods, he said. They will also burn natural gas instead of oil.

Mr. de Blasio praised the senator for pushing the agreement forward, adding that as the city continues to rebuild, “we have to find a way to right some wrongs in the process,” including replacing the antiquated boilers.

Though the news is sure to please some residents, Mr. de Blasio, who has been fending off criticism from several directions lately, had a run-in with yet another group of protesters on Sunday: Outside the building waited several dozen Upper East Side residents who oppose the city’s plan to build a waste transfer station nearby.

As they tried to swarm the mayor, he and his aides beat a hasty retreat indoors, moving the news conference with them. Mr. de Blasio said that while he respected the protesters’ opinions, he wanted to focus on the boiler deal, a “very important moment for New York City.”

Slant/Fin boilers and baseboard…

The Only Name you want heating your home.

Slant/Fin was founded by Mel Dubin in 1949. It was started in the back of a bakery in Coney Island, NY. When the company started its focus was commercial grade element and the original design was a locked, slanted fin, hence the name Slant/Fin. One of Mel’s favorite stories is about how small the original work area was. When they were making 10 foot element they had to manufacture half the element at a time, then open the back door to turn it around to finish. We are proud that Slant/Fin has grown and is now America’s largest manufacturer of baseboard heating equipment. We are also one of the top manufacturers of gas boilers and oil boilers.  Since 1949, heating contractors, engineers and builders have depended on Slant/Fin for products of the highest quality.  Our heating equipment is installed in millions of homes in The United States, Canada and around the world.

WHEN IT COMES TO HEATING YOUR HOME, DON’T FORCE IT…

Isn’t water amazing?

It cools us in the summer. Quenches thirst like nothing else. Keeps our bodies working at optimal efficiency. And anyone who’s been in an intense water-gun fight knows how much fun it can be.

But even though it’s been around in numerous forms for decades, a lot of people still don’t think of water when it relates to home heating. But, as it turns out, home heating utilizing water — better known these days as radiant heat or “hydronics” — is actually the best way to enjoy maximum comfort while achieving cost-savings as high as 25% every month!

Continue reading ‘WHEN IT COMES TO HEATING YOUR HOME, DON’T FORCE IT…’