G.T. Pallets LLC occupies a building and two loading docks at 114 North 13th Street on the corner of Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg.
When asked about the pallets, company representative Mike Lee said the company puts them on the sidewalk to make room for shipping trucks, and then moves them back into the loading docks on a daily basis. He said his company tries to keep the area clean.
G.T. Pallets receives merchandise from trucks and then ships the goods to their appropriate trades, he said.
“We paid people overtime to clear the sidewalks on Saturday and Sunday,” Lee said, referring to last weekend, when the company received three $300 sidewalk obstruction fines and one for a dirty sidewalk from the Sanitation Department between Friday and Sunday.
“We try to make the neighborhood nice,” he said, because “it’s a benefit for us too.”
This newspaper observed pallets on the night of Friday, January 27, stacked two stories high, taking up about a half-block of sidewalk space between Wythe Avenue and Berry Street.
Sanitation officials visited the site on Monday to make sure the sidewalks were clear. Obstructing pedestrian traffic and/or littering or dumping on a public sidewalk is illegal under city law.
Lee said he will fight the tickets, maintaining that because the pallets took up less than six feet of space between the building and the street, they did not obstruct pedestrian traffic.
In addition, Lee said the fines are part of the city’s plan to push business out of Brooklyn.
“They just want to throw all the business out of Brooklyn to New Jersey,” Lee, who also resides in Williamsburg, said. “It’s just so difficult to run a business here.”
Lee said the company would move to New Jersey within the next three months. In the meantime, he said, work will be done within the loading dock space, to keep the pallets off the sidewalk.
He also said G.T. Pallets will reduce its business volume to reduce the need to move the pallets to the sidewalk.
A representative from the Sanitation Department said pallets were not observed blocking the sidewalk on Monday.