Message from management: We’ve got your back

A memo from Mr. Jacob yesterday evening covers several items:

August 20, 2015

To: East River Housing Cooperators
Hillman Housing Cooperators

From: Harold Jacob, General Manager

Re: Generators / Winter Preparedness

Dear East River and Hillman Cooperators:

Approximately 5 years ago the Boards approved the purchase of generators in case there was an emergency.

That foresight by the Boards has already paid off. The elevators in 500 A Grand Street Building had not been working properly and were shutting down. After testing the voltage and amperage we found that 500 A Grand Street Building was not receiving enough amount of electricity from Con Edison, the voltage varied from 180 to 220 volts causing the elevators to shut down. Con Edison kept telling us that these were our elevators, so we decided to disconnect the Con Ed’s wires, hook up the generators and, lo and behold, the problem was resolved.

Meanwhile, Con Edison has finally determined that there was a burned line under the street. Now they are trying to locate it and fix it. We are hoping they will succeed soon so we could disconnect our generators and put them back.

As for generators in East River, temporarily we have installed them in strategic locations next to the pump rooms, close to the electric lines, thus in case of an emergency it will take a short time to have them connected, rather than tow them to the locations first and only then be able to hook them up. Similarly we would be able to do it in Hillman and reduce the time needed for connection. After the hurricane season we will remove all the generators from the parks and put them back behind the boiler room.

While it is only the end of August, Management is already preparing for the winter season. We are checking if we have enough salt in stock, that our snow blowers, ploughs and other equipment are functional and operate efficiently. We have carried out some maintenance and repairs in the boiler room. Now we are testing all the equipment to make sure it is ready for lower temperatures in order to avoid the problem we ran into last January when some moisture got into one of the switches and hindered the alternate fuel system to turn on. We are also repairing the sidewalks in order to remove all trip hazards. Hopefully, the weather will be more cooperative this year.

We are constantly examining different technologies to reduce our operational costs, such as co-generation, battery back-ups, etc. To date we have not found any new feasible technology that could reduce our costs. E.g., due to our size we are buying gas at a much lower price, and in order to co-generate we would have to use the hot water and the steam from co-generation units, which would be produced at a higher cost. In the end, the finances must make sense.

We will keep you updated.