The aging and often overtaxed sewer systems in Middle Village, Glendale, Maspeth and Ridgewood have caused problems for local residents for years, and Community Board 5 (CB 5) has again made that issue a top priority in its capital budget.
Redesigning and reconstructing the sewer system in the portions of the CB 5 area which have seen the worst flooding problems topped the CB 5 Fiscal Year 2018 Capital Budget Priorities list adopted on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the board’s meeting in Middle Village. This is the second year in a row that this project has been named the community board’s number one priority.
In recent months, areas in Glendale and Middle Village have undergone sewer and water main construction, as new, larger pipes have been installed to help the sewer system handle increased amounts of water during periods of heavy rainfall.
The top 10 priorities in the Fiscal Year 2018 Capital Budget are as follows:
- Redesign and reconstruct the sewer system;
- Provide new catch basins and reconstruct deteriorated catch basins;
- Provide new street tree plantings and funding for street tree removals, stump removals, planting of replacement trees, and increased pruning;
- Make capital improvements to improve pedestrian and vehicle safety on Grand Avenue at 69th Street, Grand Avenue and the LIE east service road, and at the 69th Street/LIE service road intersections;
- Evaluate the structural condition of the elevated M train line, perform repairs and paint the structure;
- Fund Phase 2 of the rehabilitation of the Ridgewood Reservoir, including portions of Highland Park;
- Repower the polluting Stage Zero freight engines hauling waste through the CB 5 area;
- Rehabilitate the Glendale branch of the Queens Library;
- Construct an athletic field at the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Newtown Creek Aeration Facility property; and
- Provide replacement of the synthetic turf ballfield and the running track at the west end of Juniper Valley Park.
The construction of the athletic field near Newtown Creek made the biggest jump up from last year’s priority list, moving from 25th to ninth.
There was one new item on the priority list, which was to provide a toilet facility in the area of Juniper Valley Park bordered by 80th Street, Dry Harbor Road, Juniper Boulevard North and South, which finished as the 35th priority out of the 36 projects.
The board’s top expense budget priorities requested more funding for the following:
- Assigning more personnel to the 104th Precinct patrol force;
- Providing field workers to deal with water and sewer operations;
- Hiring plan examiners and inspectors for the Department of Buildings;
- Providing Sanitation Department personnel to deal with illegal dumping and litter basket collection; and
- Providing funding for educational and recreational programs for children and teens.
“This is some of the most important work, in my opinion, that the community board does during the year,” said Gary Giordano, district manager of CB 5. “It helps influence the city budget.”
The board voted unanimously to accept the expense budget priorities as well.