By Howard Koplowitz
Community Board 13 unanimously voted in favor of the design for the Laurelton Playground, which finally received funding after a 10-year request.
The playground, at 238th Street and Laurelton Parkway, will include spray showers, swing sets, benches, climbing units and is expected to open in the spring of 2013, a city Parks Department representative said.
“It’s owed to this community because they deserve a beautiful, nice playground,” she said, noting Borough President Helen Marshall contributed $1.5 million in funding for the playground.
A representative speaking on behalf of the playground’s designer said the design is almost done with construction drawings scheduled to be finished in July.
It will then take about six to eight months to get the contracts out to bid. Construction is due to start next spring and be completed by spring 2013.
CB 13 District Manager Lawrence McClean suggested the board approve the playground as presented because any changes to the design might delay the project.
“The Laurelton community’s been waiting long enough,” McClean said.
CB 13 approved the project in a unanimous voice vote.
The board was also made aware of an ongoing attempted rape pattern in the 105th Precinct.
Detective Jovoda Cooper, the precinct’s community affairs officer, said the suspect is a 5-foot-3, 165-pound black man between 18 and 22 years old with sideburns and a thin goatee and mustache.
She said the suspect, who recently targetedï»¿ three women between 20 and 23 years old — two in Laurelton and one in Springfield Gardens — had not committed a rape yet but did try to forcibly remove the victims’ clothes during the attacks, which occurred in front of their homes after returning from work.
“They were able to fight him off of them,” Cooper said, noting in one case a neighbor came outside to help one of the victims.
“We want everyone to know and be aware,” she said.
U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) made a rare visit to the board with Congress off this week and discussed a wide range of topics, including the recent mail theft in Queens Village that affected 300 homeowners.
“We know about the incident dealing with the post office,” Meeks said.
The congressman also spoke about jobs, noting that while the private sector is creating jobs, the public sector is cutting back on employment “because of the deficits that governments are running now.”
Meeks said he is sponsoring a job fair May 6 at York College from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Meeks said Congress is set to debate next year’s budget next week.
“The debate’s going to be is what do you cut from? Are you going to be fair and equitable?” or hurt poor people and the middle class? the congressman asked.
He also pointed out there is “no talk about additional revenue to help balance the budget” and said the wealthiest 2 percent of the country, who make $800,000 or more, have to share in the sacrifice.
The board also honored former CB 13 member Ruth Maxwell, who was on the board for 20 years.
“Twenty years on a community board is a long time,” said Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik, who is in charge of overseeing community boards. “As I tell everyone that applies, the pay doesn’t get any better.”
Maxwell, a Queens Village resident, also created the Youth Courts program, where students learn about the trial process.
“I’ll miss all of you,” she told the board. “You’re not getting rid of me. I will show up.”
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4573.