For residents bummed over the long broken AVAC, a new round of cryptic messages


The broken AVAC residents have dealt with since May got another spray of cryptic messaging from RIOC. Cryptic because each message contradicts something before it, making the whole mess a mystery of excuses.

By David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Six Months with a Broken AVAC and Chaotic Messaging

Black garbage bags have rerouted broken AVAC trash since May.

While four west side housing complexes have been spared, the broken AVAC has brought smelly refuse rooms and unsightly piles of trash to much of the Island, some of it since May.

For the first two months, RIOC’s acclaimed, four person Communications Team huddled in the corporate bunker. Only after complaints and media reports flushed them out did the state agency cough up a story. A few buildings were inconvenienced, they said, by a bed frame someone jammed down an AVAC chute.

Remember that one? That damnable bed frame was dislodged in August, according to RIOC. They patted themselves on the back for their efforts but strangely never produced any evidence. Not a single photo of the alleged bed frame or of feet on the ground. Who cared, though, as long as it was fixed…?

But, of course, it wasn’t. Much of Southtown has continuously been out of service for six months, putting the lie to the bed frame alibi. Then, as the broken AVAC effect crept north into Westview, RIOC’s alleged Communications Team hunkered down in silence. Until last week, no further excuses were offered nor did they apologize or get off the bed frame.

RIOC News Takes a Game Stab at It

In an aside titled PROJECT UPDATES / AVAC REPAIRS, a whole new twist sprouted.

The east and west lines of the AVAC system will be undergoing major repair work. A specialized team from Spain is making their way here, to Roosevelt Island, to address the damaged piping and flooding that have been the source of the issues. We’ll be sure to update the community as the team progresses through the repairs.

RIOC News, 11-04-2021

Gone was the bed frame, replaced by “damaged piping and flooding,” but where and how were still missing. A long broken AVAC was reduced to issues. RIOC’s vaunted Communications didn’t even try patching over the contradictions.

Then, yesterday, the state agency’s brain trust came up with this: “The AVAC system will be under assessment and undergo service repair for the next 10 days starting tomorrow, Tuesday, November 9th. Service updates will be provided as they become available.”

“What? WTF does that mean in general? And to all the apartment buildings?” fumed a frustrated resident. 

As usual, RIOC left a widening gap of unanswered questions big enough for a whole new load of distrust to march through.

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