By SAM RAPPAPORT
It has been nearly three months since approximately two dozen households in Glen Oaks Village have had gas.
Bob Friedrich, the president of the Glen Oaks Village Co-op, alleges that the city’s Department of Buildings (DOB) is holding up the process on technicalities. The DOB contends that a number of the units contain gas work that is both illegal and dangerous, and that Friedrich must rectify this before the gas can be restored.
Friedrich said on Monday that the only obstacle in the way of the DOB authorizing the gas to be turned back on in a number of Glen Oaks Village apartments is an issue of permitting with the gas washers and dryers in the units. According to Friedrich, the washers and dryers were installed years ago before the DOB required the specific permits for which they are now asking.
“This is a very frustrating bureaucratic process,” Friedrich said. “And this issue is unrelated to the original issue of gas leaks.”
Initially, approximately 80 families at Glen Oaks Village lost gas after a gas leak was discovered that required immediate attention. After an April 4 inspection by the DOB, gas was turned back on for the majority of those 80 families.
The DOB told the Queens Tribune that the remaining units without gas were either unavailable for inspection on April 4 or found to contain illegal gas work. In order for the remaining households to be granted gas authorization, they must allow the DOB to conduct an inspection of the gas plumbing system and legalize any illegal work.
The DOB did not provide specifics on whether the illegal gas work would require further construction or simply need to be properly filed to meet agency standards.
Friedrich said that the issue only involves permitting—but that permits are difficult to obtain.
“In order to get the permits, we have to amend our [former construction] plans, but we’re having problems amending the plans,” Friedrich said. “We’re in the process of all that. There are a whole lot of steps you have to do.”
Nevertheless, if he doesn’t face further resistance from the DOB, Friedrich said, he’s hopeful that the gas will be restored within two weeks. However, he expressed frustration that the process of getting the gas turned back on has been so arduous.
“It’s an expensive and time-consuming process,” Friedrich said.