Quality-Of-Life Improvements Detailed
City Council Member Eric Ulrich greeted the crowd at the Our Neighbors Civic Association’s Tuesday, Mar. 6 meeting at Christ Lutheran Church in Ozone park with an update on area projects.
Ulrich told the audience that the contract for sidewalk repairs in the area has construction beginning on Mar. 12.
The city has targeted 327 homes in Board 9 for sidewalk construction, which will be installed at no cost to the homeowner over a six-week pe- riod.
In addition, 10 locations that have been hit by graffiti vandalism will be power-washed, and multiple streets will be repaved over the summer, including portions of 81st Street as well as parts of 88th, 95th, 97th and 101st avenues, following a survey of local residents’ road gripes.
Finally, work on Tudor Park on 88th Street will begin, in what Ulrich described as a “very expensive, long process.” Renovations to the public space will include new basketball courts, a fitness area and a skate park.
Repaving on Woodhaven Boulevard, however, will have to wait, as it is considered a major capital budget item, according to Ulrich.
The council member explained that “the average lifespan of a city street is supposed to be 10 years, but that is cut in half the second you stick a shovel in the ground” for sewer or water main installation and the like.
The city Department of Transportation is now coordinating with utilities and other agencies to they combine their efforts and open up a repaved street as rarely as possible.
“We really don’t have much going on,” P.O. Joey Martins told the crowd, adding later that the precinct led the city in decreasing crime numbers compared to this time last year.
Martins and his fellow officer from the 102nd Precinct Community Affairs Unit, P.O. Jose Severino, noted that block party permits for the summer are now being looked at.
P.O. Kenneth Zorn from the neighboring 106th Precinct’s Community Affairs Unit noted that his command is also accepting permits, but that the command only allows two block parties per ZIP code on Saturdays only, with no rain dates.
“Once your ZIP code is gone, it’s gone,” he warned, adding that the limits are in place due to the precinct’s strained resources.
In addition, if your block party encounters problems that require police intervention (such as noise or underage drinking), the likelihood of future permits being approved is extremely slim.
Finally, no party permits along Liberty Avenue will be approved, according to Zorn, due to prior issues with companies gaining permits and then charging for entrance to the party.
Turning to area crime, Zorn noted that it is on the rise in South Richmond Hill, with iPhone thefts near area high schools a major issue.
Update from Goldfeder’s office
Larry Love, representing Assemblyman Philip Goldfeder, noted that “I don’t think anyone can give you a good answer” on the current state of redistricting.
He did note that the new lines needed to be in place in time for legislators to know which districts to run for.
Some residents complained that Old Howard Beach was not part of the current Ninth Congressional District.
“This is outrageous for our community,” resident Charles Jensen argued. “We should be with our communities intact.”
Love responded that with the large population requirements that are necessary for a Congressional district, it is difficult to keep all communities intact.
“It’s far from a perfect system,” he acknowledged.
Love also noted that the Ninth District originally was created as a Brooklyn district and moved further east in subsequent redistricting efforts.
Love also claimed that legislators are optimistic that the state budget will be passed on time.
Ulrich and ONCA President Sal Simonetti also urged residents to attend last Tuesday’s meeting of Community Board 9 and voice their opinion on two proposed street changes-the conversion of 89th Avenue between Woodhaven Boulevard and 97th Street from a two-way operation to a one-way eastbound street, and the conversion of 84th Street between Liberty and Atlantic avenues from a northbound street to a southbound street.
At the Tuesday, Mar. 13 Board 9 meeting, the advisory body voted to disapprove both street changes. More information on the meeting will be available in next week’s Times Newsweekly.
The ONCA usually meets on the first Tuesday of every month at the Christ Lutheran Church Center, located at 85-20 101st Ave. in Ozone Park.