Huge rent hike for CB18

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And you think your rent increase is bad.

When it moves into its new digs later this year, Community Board 18 could see a 14,606 percent increase – from $34 to $5,000.

That at least, is the amount the board is preparing for, when it requests a $5,000 per month allocation from the city to pay for its rent, whose amount has yet to actually be determined.

Since 1977, CB 18 has been located within the Glenwood Houses, a city housing development, located at 5715 Avenue H. The board pays just $34 a month to cover its utilities, according to Dorothy Turano, the board’s district manager.

Turano said she requested $5,000 a month “on the possibility” that the rent will be that high. “I’m being overly cautious. I don’t want to make a mistake.”

“I gave them a high ball because I’m not sure what it will come to be,” she added.

The community board’s new home is part of a $345 million plan that will see the construction of a combined sewer overflow (CSO) retention facility at 1887 Ralph Avenue. The plan includes the construction of a 20-million-gallon underground storage tank, and upgrades to the pumping station at Ralph and Flatlands Avenues. The plan included the construction of a new 4,000-square-foot building, located on Bergen Avenue, near the new CSO facility. The city-owned building will also house offices for the Department of Environmental Protection.

“It’s bigger, modern, and really up-to-the-minute,” Turano said of the new building.

Over a decade ago, the board, with assistance of local elected officials, helped take part in the planning for the Paerdegat facility. Included in that was the new building, Turano said, because there was concern at the time that city wanted to evict the board from the Glenwood Houses because of a space shortage.

Turano said that even though the new building will be owned by the city, there could be high maintenance fees and other costs.

At press time, the city’s Office of Management and Budget, the agency that will pay the board’s rent, did not return a call for comment.

At the start of the new fiscal year in June, Board 18’s budget will be $167,000, Turano said. The amount has been winnowed down from a high of $225,000, she noted. All boards have roughly the same operating budget. Rent is paid for separately, and varies, depending on the community board.

Board 6 in Park Slope and surrounding areas, for example, pays no rent because it is headquartered in a city-owned building, its district manager Craig Hammerman said.

Updated 3:32 pm, October 19, 2011
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