Seawall repair tops CB 1 wish list for another year

Community Board 1's top priority is the repair and removal of contamination near the Queens Seawall, which runs along the East River.
TimesLedger Newspapers

Repairing and removing contamination near the Queens seawall was named the top priority on Community Board 1’s capital budget wish list for fiscal year 2013. The board also placed streetlight, sewer and park upgrades on its annual list.

“We hope that these things are taken care of, that the priorities make a difference,” said CB 1 District Manager Lucille Hartmann.

The district represented by CB 1 encompasses Astoria, the Dutch Kills section of Long Island City, the Ravenswood and Queensbridge houses and a small section of Woodside.

This year CB 1 listed 31 priorities for its capital budget plan, which covers infrastructure projects, and 19 priorities for its expense budget plan, which includes services. Listed budget priorities will not necessarily be fulfilled, but serve as wish lists for the community boards.

CB 1 placed the repair of a 200-foot broken section of the Queens seawall on the top of its capital budget priority list. Fixing the wall in Queensbridge Park near the Ed Koch-Queensboro Bridge has long been a concern of neighborhood elected officials since it failed more than a decade ago, and after many false starts due to funding issues the city Parks Department sent out a request for proposals to test contaminants earlier this year.

“We want very much for it to be taken care of — very much,” Hartmann said.

Other capital priorities named by CB 1 were replacing streetlights on parts of Steinway Street and 30th Avenue, upgrading storm sewers near Shore Boulevard, creating an erosion plan for Astoria Park, installing a parking lot over Grand Central Parkway at Astoria Boulevard and 35th Street and upgrades for other parks in the neighborhood such as Sean’s Place, Rainey Park and additional renovations for Astoria Park.

Nearly all of CB 1’s top 10 expense priorities were related to increasing personnel for services in the district. CB 1 said it wanted the city to hire more Consumer Affairs evening inspectors, Housing inspectors, uniformed personnel for the 114th Precinct, air quality inspectors, Sanitation police and people to maintain the catch basins. The board also requested more services for elderly and disabled residents and expanded after-school and daycare programs.

Most of the priorities were listed with notes saying the city department responsible for them did not have the funds to enact them.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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