Budget blues for Community Board 10

Photo by Patrick Rocchio

The new mayor giveth and taketh, and in the case of Community Board 10, a few items it won’t be seeing in the mayor’s new proposed preliminary budget.

Among the board’s wish-list items that are missing:

•An Orchard Beach performing arts center

•Dredging of Hammond Cove, Westchester Creek, and part of the East River

•City funding for Pearly Gates Park’s recreational program

Board members and the community are invited to discuss the mayor’s preliminary budget and the response to community district needs on Wednesday, March 12 in CB 10’s office at 3165 E. Tremont Avenue at 7:30 p.m.

After consultations with the City Council, and a revised mayoral budget, the final one is due by July 1.

The creation of a year-round performing-arts center at Orchard Beach would help spur its revitalization.

“We felt that a performing arts center would attract federal monies that would go into the restoration of the elliptical buildings at Orchard Beach, and it could become a year-round attraction as opposed to a summer destination” said Board 10 district manager Ken Kearns.

Dredging silt from Hammond Cove, the site of a city-owned marina in Throggs Neck, as well from a portion of the East River near the Locust Point waterfront, is a key priority.

“We are a waterborne board, and we want to increase recreational opportunities for people,” said Kearns.

Dredging Hammond Cove Marina should help reduce any flooding during storms because the silt build can make it difficult for water to recede, said CB 10 board member James McQuade.

McQuade and Kearns are also concerned about pleasure boats being able to get into and out of the cove.

The board would also like to see dredging of Westchester Creek, principally to accommodate Schildwachter Oil, which can only get half-filled barges in and out of the creek, said Kearns. Building restrooms for Ferry Point Park West is another concern, though the money for that has already been budgeted, he said.

“We continue to ask for it, and they continue to tell us that it will be done in a year,” he said.

That would please Dotti Poggi, leader of the Ferry Point Park Advocates, who said that while restrooms had been completed at Ferry Point Community Park and at the new golf course in the eastern part of the park, no work on the planned comfort station for the west has been completed.

In a piece of good news, a budget request from last fiscal year for the naming of the “ring road” underneath the Bronx Whitestone Bridge to Ferry Point Park East and West has been approved, Kearns said.

The board is also making a play for getting city funding for a recreational program at Pearly Gates Park near Westchester Square, said Kearns.

According to Sandi Lusk of the Westchester Square Zerega Improvement Organization and leader of the two-year-old program, it is currently funded by local pols and Metro Optics. She was grateful to Kearns including it in his requests.

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at procchio@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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