Rego Pk. library redo may finally be funded

Community Board 6 thinks that the Rego Park branch of the Queens Public Library is in need of an upgrade. Photo courtesy of Helen Marshall
By Joe Anuta

The broken record approach might pay off this year for Community Board 6 since many of the items that have appeared for years on its annual budget proposal might become a reality.

The proposal, which CB 6 Executive Director Frank Gulluscio calls his “wish list,” was presented to Borough President Helen Marshall last week and is currently being considered by her staff.

One of those items is the Rego Park Library renovation, which is “on the radar screen,” according to Marshall.

“The library has some funding from the borough president and [City Councilwoman] Karen Koslowitz,” Gulluscio said. “They’ve been kicking in money every year.”

The multimillion-dollar face-lift has been on the board’s budget request many times, and it slowly gathered the funds it needed to become feasible.

And according to Gulluscio, the sooner work can start, the better.

“The facility has to be expanded,” he said. “It’s just used tremendously.”

Another overused nearby facility is the Russell Sage Playground, according to Gulluscio.

“It’s used not only by the school, but also by the people from the surrounding neighborhood,” he said.

The park has been through one round of renovations, according to Gulluscio, but it could use some more.

“Everybody talks about how wonderful McDonald and Yellowstone parks are, so [Russell Sage] has kind of been pushed to the background,” Gulluscio said.

But this year is looking good for the park since the city Parks Department has committed some money toward renovations, Gulluscio said.

“It’s on the drawing board,” he said.

Forest Hills and Rego Park might also get a little quieter if another budget item, sound barriers along the Long Island Expressway, get additional funding this year, which Gulluscio said is a possibility.

Other items have resided on the budget for several years, like the sewer renovations that are currently ongoing on 108th Street, but nearly complete.

“It’s about 99 percent done,” Gulluscio said.

The sewer renovations took around two years, according to Gulluscio said, but have been on the wish list for at least 10 years.

And many of the other items on CB 6’s budget are have sat on the wish list as well, like security cameras for all of the subway stations in the neighborhood.

“It strengthens the neighborhood we live in,” Gulluscio said. “We don’t have a lot of muggings, but it would be another deterrent to a local mugger.”

Other items included safety studies for Woodhaven Boulevard and Union Turnpike and updating the ventilation systems in subway stations.

The CB 6 budget proposal is now in the hands of Marshall’s office, which will determine which of the projects can be funded.

The budget then makes its way to the office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, where city agencies will take another look at the budget to see which programs will get money.

But Gulluscio will not be kept in the dark.

Each agency must report the status of each request to the community board. They can approve funding or deny it for a variety of reasons. The funded projects break ground while the others stay on the wish list for another year.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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