Full-service Queens animal shelter to open in 2022
by Benjamin Fang
Sep 11, 2019 | 12609 views | 0 0 comments | 258 258 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Animal Care Centers (ACC) of New York City is slated to open its first full service center in Queens by summer 2022.

Last week, ACC and AKRF, an environmental consulting firm, presented plans to Community Board 5’s Land Use Committee to remediate a former automobile wrecking and salvage facility at 151 Woodward Avenue in Ridgewood.

ACC plans to open a 50,000-square-foot site that will house about 72 dogs, 110 cats and an undetermined number of rabbits and Guinea pigs.

The citywide nonprofit, which has a substantial contract with the city to provide animal welfare services, already operates full service centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island. It has plans to open new ones in Queens and the Bronx.

The only other site ACC runs in Queens is a small resource center in Rego Park.

“We feel having two new full-service shelters will alleviate the overcrowding at the other shelters,” said Risa Weinstock, president and CEO of ACC. “It will be a state-of-the-art facility, it will be modern. It will be a real jewel for the community.

According to Jennifer Piibe, ACC’s general counsel, the new Ridgewood facility will be open everyday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Adoption hours on weekdays will be from from noon to 8 p.m. On weekends, it will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Piibe expects about 70 to 80 visitors per day. The site will have 52 parking spots at the facility.

Additionally, ACC will hire for up to 100 jobs, but only about 60 staff members will be on the premises at one time.

“Historically, care center workers come from close to the site, so we’re excited to hire from the community,” Piibe said.

ACC’s mission, Weinstock said, is to “end animal homelessness” in New York City. The organization takes in every animal that needs a home, many of which are surrendered by their owners.

In the past few years, the nonprofit has taken in more than 30,000 animals annually, most of which are dogs, cats and rabbits.

In addition to running the full-service shelters, the organization also offers resource centers, a field services team, community mobile clinics and more.

“If we’re doing our job, that number should go down,” Weinstock said. “We want people to keep their pets.”

In 2018, 7,388 animals were adopted from ACC into “loving homes,” Weinstock said. It has a 94 percent placement rate.

When asked by CB5 members about euthanasia, Weinstock said ACC only euthanizes animals with severe medical or behavioral problems that present a “danger to the public.”

“We’re not going to place animals that have a propensity to do serious harm,” she said.

Prior to purchasing the Ridgewood property, ACC conducted an initial environmental assessment of the site.

According to Deborah Shapiro, senior vice president of AKRF, the site was home to a two-story retail building from 1902 to 1950. After that, it was a car wrecking and salvage facility, as well as tire repair shop.

Operations at the salvage facility ceased this past June.

ACC submitted an application to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for a Brownfield Cleanup, which they signed in April.

AKRF was then hired to conduct a remedial investigation to determine the “full nature and extent of contamination” on the site, Shapiro said.

The company found sludge on the concrete surface, and historic fill material in the subsurface soil. Additionally, they tested the groundwater and soil vapor for petroleum compounds.

Shapiro said the contamination is related to the “historic operations” from the automobile wrecking facility.

A remedial work plan was submitted to DEC in July, and is now available for public comment while the agency reviews the proposal.

The plan, Shapiro said, has six main components, starting with excavation of off-site disposal of 5,000 tons of petroleum-contaminated soil. The company will then remove the sludge from the concrete surface, and construct and maintain a site-wide composite cover system.

That’s followed by the implementation of a groundwater treatment program, the installation of a sub-slab depressurization system and eventual long-term site management reviewed by DEC.

“Once the remedy is done, the final engineering report will be issued,” said Shapiro, who expects the remediation to be complete by December 2020.

The full community board will vote on the proposal at its monthly meeting on Wednesday, September 18, at 7:30 p.m. at Christ the King High School.
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