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Community Board 5 talks parks for capital budget priorities

File photo/QNS

The city should set aside big bucks for park improvements in Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village, according to residents and members of Community Board 5 (CB 5).

Several parks within CB 5 are either in need of repairs or are due to receive repairs. The community board wants to make sure that such projects are included in the city’s fiscal year 2017 capital budget.

Rosemary’s Playground in Ridgewood, Frank Principe Park in Maspeth and Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village were main areas of concern with the community board mentioned during a special public hearing on the budget on Sept. 9 in Middle Village.

Rosemary’s Playground has been a focus of CB 5 for several months now, and it is garnering even more attention. Parents have been fighting to improve the conditions at the park and although some work has been done, more work is needed.

“There were small fixes done on the playground” in the last couple of months, said Steffi Sauer, member of the Friends of Rosemary’s Playground group. “Safety hazards were fixed so that’s great news. We want to thank the Parks Department for that, but again a lot more has to be done.”

The deteriorating condition of the park’s equipment has been addressed as well, but additional work is still needed.

“They scraped down the play equipment. They haven’t repainted that play equipment yet,” said CB 5 District Manager Gary Giordano. “But now what’s going on is we are hearing people want a dog run in Ridgewood, and Rosemary’s Playground is one of the places that people are talking about. But when you’re talking about Ridgewood, you’re talking about a lot of users competing for small spaces.”

One park that is slated for repairs is Frank Principe Park. Last year Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley allocated over $5 million in city funding to repair the park’s baseball fields and running track.

“We need to, I think, push the Parks Department as far as design goes, but there is a substantial amount of money to our knowledge for the reconstruction of Frank Principe Park,” Giordano said. “With soccer booming in a lot of ways…that is a place that can really serve very well for soccer in Maspeth.”

Crowley has also funded the reconstruction of Juniper Valley Park’s running track and turf soccer field.

“I believe there’s 2 million dollars available for renovations in that part of Juniper,” Giordano said regarding the soccer field/running track area of the park.

As in previous years, CB 5 is also prioritizing improvements to the Ridgewood Reservoir in Highland Park on the Brooklyn-Queens border.

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