Councilmen Ruben Wills, Peter Koo and Mark Weprin, as well as councilwomen Karen Koslowitz, Letitia James and Diana Reyna, who spearheaded the tour, visited the businesses to listen to the concerns, field questions and offer support.
“It was great, they were happy to discuss some of the issues with the businesses,” said Jean Tanler, the Maspeth Industrial Business Zone coordinator.
One issue that topped concerns was transportation. David Finkel of Davis & Warshow expressed to the council members the need for adequate public transportation for employees.
He would like to see an LIRR train run through Maspeth, but if that can’t happen, at the very least he said he’d like to see more buses in the area with frequent service and improved bus routes.
“Public transportation for workers is an issue for these businesses,” Tanler said. “In this economy it’s really industrial businesses that are hanging in there, and having these companies at the heart of the middle class. We need to be able to hire employees and to have those employees not be hindered by transit.”
The representatives also informed the businesses of the types of services available to them, as well as incentives offered for being in a manufacturing or industrial business zone.
In addition to Davis & Warshow, the council members also visited Interstate Envelope Manufacturing Corp., which has been operating in Maspeth since 1974, and 17-17 Troutman Street, which leases space to artists and entrepreneurs.
“It’s a foot on the ground,” Tanler said of the tour, noting that it mainly served as a listening session. “We’re ready for a follow up with the council members about the issues discussed.”
Photos: Jean Tanler