Maspeth Park set for millions in upgrades

By Eric Jankiewicz

A park in Maspeth that was once a water pump station has been plagued by flooding and an old track, but several million dollars will be used to get the small park back on track.

Parks officials met with community members to discuss the ways in which the money can be spent on Frank Principe Park, which runs along Borden Avenue. Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale) allocated the funds, $5.7 million in total, from the City Council budget. The park was created in the 1930s and was named after a man who helped make the park a reality.

. Residents during the meeting ticked off a number of issues – from drainage problems on the field to the track that is just a cracked sliver of asphalt.

“This funding will give new life to a park that has desperately needed it for decades. This renovation has been a top priority of Community Board 5 and the community for the past 10 years and I am pleased to finally get this done,” Crowley said. “I’m happy to have brought the public together to hear what they truly need in their backyards for their children, for their sports teams and for themselves.”

According to the city Parks Department, there are already plans to reconstruct two turf ball fields and create a soccer field made of synthetic turf. In 1996, the city spent $3 million to upgrade the playground and basketball and tennis courts.

During the meeting with Crowley and Parks officials, residents also requested baseball fields, high fences, bleachers, water fountains, garbage cans and a full-size soccer field.

The final decision will be made in the next few months by the Parks Department for a proposal in the fall. Crowley also allocated $2.5 million for upgrades to Juniper Valley Park.

Reach reporter Eric Jankiewicz by e-mail at ejankiewicz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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