“Our veterans – and the groups that help our veterans – should not be source of revenue for our City,” said Councilman Ulrich.
By Michael V. Cusenza
City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) recently introduced a bill that would give veterans service organizations 120 days to cure City Sanitation and Department of Buildings violations before being issued a fine.
According to Ulrich, after the initial 120-day period, the VSO may submit an extension request, including proof of an attempt to cure the violation, to the relevant department.
The bill contains a carve-out for safety-threatening violations. It also requires the Department of Veterans’ Services to conduct an outreach campaign to VSOs about the cure periods and to post the cure period information on its website. The proposed legislation would protect the funds of and educate financially vulnerable VSOs about City regulations.
Ulrich’s bill is similar to the one State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) introduced in Albany in 2016. The legislation was crafted by Addabbo after a veterans’ organization in his district was assessed almost $5,000 in fines because it housed an ice machine and was therefore classified as a food establishment.
“Our veterans – and the groups that help our veterans – should not be source of revenue for our City,” said Ulrich, chairman of the Council Committee on Veterans. “Many of these organizations are already operating on a tight budget. Providing an additional 120 days to resolve minor infractions would save our VSOs thousands of dollars that would be better used to fund the valuable services they provide for our nation’s heroes.”