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  • THE COURIER/Photos by Alina Suriel
    THE COURIER/Photos by Alina Suriel
    State Senator Tony Avella presents a symbolic check to College Point residents for money which will fix MacNeil Park.

They’ll soon be walking on solid ground around College Point’s MacNeil Park.

State Senator Tony Avella allocated $575,000 for upgrades to the park, including the addition of a sidewalk around its perimeter.

Avella announced the allocation on Aug. 28 at the park, where he was joined by members of the College Point Civic and Taxpayers Association and College Point residents. In addition to a perimeter sidewalk, the funds will be also be used to create a formalized entrance to the park and plant additional foliage.

According to Avella, residents have been campaigning for the new sidewalk since he was a community activist in College Point.

“This is a great resource but it’s never been given the attention it needs,” he said. “I’m happy that I was able to get money but it really shouldn’t be up to the state. This is a city park and the city should be putting some money into this.”

While residents were happy to see incoming improvements to MacNeil Park, many complained of other issues which are long overdue for upgrades and city attention.

Ongoing complaints included unmowed grass, loiterers bringing open containers of booze and smashing glass bottles, overflow from sewers and growing potholes on a walking path deteriorating along the sea wall. Avella was able to see some of these issues firsthand in a tour of the park.

Resident Jennifer Shannon said that some of the potholes were big enough for a small child to climb inside.

“From what he’s saying, it’s going to make the front of the park beautiful, and that’s great,” Shannon said. “But it’s not going to change what’s going on inside the park. We need the other money.”

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