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Long Beach Residents Fighting Construction Of New Pump Station Near Homes

LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Frustrations are flooding a Long Island neighborhood.

Some residents in Long Beach are fighting a drainage improvement project after finding out that a pump station is being built next to their homes.

Tony Mastrogiovanni has a water view from his home on Tennessee Avenue, but soon, he'll be looking at a brick pump station.

"Basically where this car is, it's double that, though. It's going to come out here ... A building," he told CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff.

The city of Long Beach is about to start construction feet from his front door.

"It's almost the size maybe of a two-car garage or a huge truck," he said.

He says it came as a shock when workers began staking it out. Public hearings never mentioned his block.

Neighbors have signed petitions to halt the project.

"All the stations that I know of have never been on a residential street, so I don't know why they have to put it here," Long Beach resident Reina Mastrogiovanni said.

"We weren't told anything initially at all," Long Beach resident Julie Slattery said.

"An eyesore and taking up parking in an already busy West End," Long Beach resident Brigiette Molfetta said.

"If they would have just cleaned the drains on time properly," Long Beach resident Maddy Conway said.

The pump station is part of a $6 million solution to flooding along an evacuation route, using Superstorm Sandy federal funds.

"I absolutely sympathize with these people and I can absolutely understand his frustration, however this project is for the greater good of the whole community ... This project is going to help hundreds of residents that are prone to chronic flooding," said city of Long Beach Public Works Commissioner Joe Febrizio.

But residents say for some, there will be ruined views and a hideout for kids.

"All that debris will wind up on our shores here. There's issues of smell, maybe gas smell, maybe noise," Tony Mastrogiovanni said.

They've asked the city to put it at a nearby fire house, but there's already an underground pump there.

"Is it going to smell? Is it going to buzz?" Gusoff asked.

"It's not going to buzz. It's not going to smell," Febrizio said. "In my opinion, it absolutely has to be done."

Traps will catch litter, and the pump station will be surrounded by landscaping.

City officials say ending chronic flooding should actually improve property values. They chose that block because of its central location, even though the street doesn't even flood.

Construction of the pump station is set to begin in September.

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