2005_03_painting.jpgOoh, it looks like the water main break in Astoria almost two weeks ago may have been caused by the city. Mayor Bloomberg revealed, "Yeah, I looked into it and it would appear that DEP [Department of Environmental Protection] probably was responsible. A sleeve many, many years ago was installed in a way that...probably wasn't done in the correct ways, and so I've asked the comptroller [William Thompson] to expedite settlements with anybody who had damage because of that." He sounds so nonchalant, like, "Yeah, the city department screwed up...we'll pay out...whatcha gonna do?" The Mayor added that the city would try to recoup money from the contractor who may have started the break (yeah, Gothamist isn't totally tracking this either) as well. However, there is some question who should have been responsible for turning off the water quickly - the Department of Environmental Protection or the Office of Emergency Management. By the time water was shut off, dozens of families needed to be evacuated.

And speaking of water when it's cold out, this is might be the third big snow in under a month. And when discussing Mother Nature, the Mayor said, "When you have snow, it is annoying." Damn - them's fighting words for a mayor up for reelection. It turns out that the Department of Sanitation has plowed so much snow that it may be over its snow budget for this year: It's about $1 million to get rid of an inch of high grade city snow, and the city put aside $26 million for this year. But the DoS is still looking for day laborers to shovel snow ($9/hour for the first 40 hours; $13.50/hour after that).