Local politicians urge city to delay Ridgewood Reservoir plans

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

A plan to alter the Ridgewood Reservoir is being challenged by several local politicians, who say proposed “changes will significantly harm the natural and largely undisturbed habitats of the animals that currently live there.”

The letter, sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday, was written in response to a meeting held in Glendale on June 30. During that meeting the Parks Department outlined a plan to connect the three water basins that make up the reservoir together by “creating three very large breaches in the reservoir’s surrounding berms,” according to the letter. The plan has been controversial and many community members have argued against making any changes to the old reservoir.

The reservoir is made up of three water basins that are isolated from one another sitting on 50 acres of land, according to the Parks Department. The reservoir originally supplied water to Brooklyn until 1959 and has since become a park that is home to an array of wildlife. Some of the wetland plants in the reservoir are on the endangered and threatened lists.

The Parks Department proposed the changes because it claims that the resevoir is currently a flood hazard.

“We ask that the NYC Parks Department be granted a waiver so they can delay the proposed work,” the politicians wrote in the letter in response to the plans. The politicians argue that along with disturbing animal habitats and cutting down 470 trees, the construction is a waste of money.

“The proposed project to breach the dam of the Ridgewood Reservoir will cost the city at least $6 million. We believe that there are many other areas where the city can spend this money including building more schools, improving our infrastructure, upgrading our transportation system, and many other capital requests that our Community Boards have highlighted.”

The letter was signed by state Sens. Joseph Addabbo and Michael Gianaris, Assemblyman Michael Miller, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, Councilman Antonio Reynoso and U.S Reps. Nydia Velazquez and Grace Meng.