Watch CBS News

Queens Woman Says City Rain Garden Ruined Landscaping She Spent Thousands To Repair

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A city project intended to help the environment has a Queens resident upset over the destruction it has caused in front of her home.

As CBS2's Valerie Castro reported, the project has cost the woman thousands of dollars.

"They destroyed the concrete," said Jeanette Romano of Maspeth. "Destroyed it, destroyed it."

Romano is not happy about the city's recent installment of a rain garden in her sidewalk – a sidewalk she said she has paid to repair before.

"We got a notice to fix the sidewalk, which we did," Romano said. "A year later, they came and broke it up to put a tree in, cracking all the sidewalk."

Romano said after the tree was installed, she paid more money to repair the damage and spruce up the spot with concrete bricks.

As for the total cost, Romano said, "I can't even tell you – thousands."

A year later, the bricks were torn out for the rain garden, which will be made up of stones, soil and plants.

"It's terrible. It's absolutely terrible," Romano said. "Every time I come out, I get very anxious and upset about this."

The rain garden, or bioswale, on Romano's block is one of hundreds installed across the city by the Department of Environmental Protection to keep dirty runoff water out of sewers and protect natural waterways.

The DEP said residents are given notice when a bioswale is going in, but it is not something a resident can choose to avoid.

The DEP stresses it is city infrastructure that has to be built.

"Are we happy with this? No," Romano said.

The rain garden in front of Romano's home is not complete. The city said it will be finished within this fall.

Romano is not convinced it was right for her home.

"You pay your taxes and they do what they want to do," she said.

The DEP said because the rain garden is city infrastructure, city workers will clean and maintain it.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.