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Residents Plagued by UWS Mosquitoes Still Worry About Health Threat

West 84th Street between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive, the epicenter of the Upper West Side mosquito problem.
West 84th Street between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive, the epicenter of the Upper West Side mosquito problem.
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DNAinfo/Paul DeBenedetto

MANHATTAN — Upper West Side residents waging a war against mosquito infestation got a bit of satisfaction Thursday, as they were finally able to confront the city about their concerns.

But on Friday, many neighbors said they still felt helpless, with no solution to the problem in sight.

The town hall meeting, which was hosted by Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal, had been held to address the pest problem the community says has been plaguing them for three years. 

“We didn’t get an answer from anybody,” resident Jennifer Hamilton, 42, said. “But we got our message out there loud and clear.”

The occasionally heated meeting, which took place at Goddard Riverside Community Center, was attended by representatives from the Department of Transportation, Department of Health, Department of Environmental Protection and Con Edison.

The agencies acknowledged that the number of mosquitos on the block was unusual, in a tape of the meeting that was obtained by DNAinfo.com New York, but didn’t have a clear answer on how the city would address it.

Residents who claim to be at the epicenter of the mosquito plague, on West 84th Street, expressed their frustration at the city’s lack of action on Friday.

“They are not effectively coordinating their response,” said Christopher Cross, 50. “Nobody wants a situation where someone gets badly ill because of a problem that’s known by the city agencies.”

At one point in the meeting, a representative from the Department of Health tried to explain that the mosquitos posed no major medical concern. Members of the audience began to talk over him.

“They would try to tell us there was nothing wrong,” said Aaron Naveh, 66. “People didn’t let them get away with that.”

Ultimately residents say they are glad that the city has promised to visit the street again,  though no date has yet been set.

For now, the neighbors are left waiting for an answer.

“I’m hopeful that they’ll come out and take care of it before someone gets sick,” Jennifer Hamilton said.