BY JAMES FARRELL
Parks, infrastructure and schools were the priorities for community board representatives at Borough President Melinda Katz’s annual Queens Borough Board budget hearing on Tuesday. All 14 community board district managers were in attendance to discuss budget priorities for the 2018 fiscal year with the board.
Community Board 12 continues to struggle with flooding, foreclosures and portable classrooms at schools and asked for relief. Community Board 13 has seen lagging traffic studies conducted by DOT, and District Manager Mark McMillan called for more community input in the studies. The Community Board is also trying to find more commercial parking for trucks, which often cause problems by parking illegally on residential streets.
Community Board 14, which is still behind on the Build it Back Superstorm Sandy recovery program, called for more transportation options—including an earlier ferry to Manhattan.
Several of the community boards sought funding for park improvements. Florence Koulouris, of Community Board 1 requested a number of upgrades for Astoria Park, including installing new comfort stations, improvements to Charybdis Playground and ladders and handrails for seniors who frequent Astoria Pool. These improvements do not fall under the purview of a recent $10 million allocation from the mayor’s office to the park.
Koulouris also sought increased police presence in the 114th precinct.
Meanwhile, Community Board 7’s requests mostly centered on infrastructure projects, such as the reconstruction of 20th Avenue, from the Whitestone Expressway Service Road to College Point Boulevard and the second phase of reconstruction at Willets Point. These projects would address flooding problems and sinking roadbeds. Community Board 8 also cited the restoration of streets as a top issue, calling for resurfacing of streets such as Avon Road in Jamaica Estates, which has frequent sinkhole problems.
Community Board 9 District Manager Lisa Gomes made a request for a community and youth center with an indoor pool in the Richmond Hill area, along with more officers in the 102nd precinct, more trees along Woodhaven Boulevard and additional crossing guards at schools. Community Board 10 cited new schools as a priority, and also the need for new bulkheads for areas still feeling the impact from Hurricane Sandy.
Any parties seeking discretionary funding from Katz’s office must submit applications by Feb. 14 at 5 p.m.
Reach James Farrell at (718) 357-7400 x 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @farrellj329.