Community Board 10 wants its fair share from City Hall this budget season.
It has recommended about 40 items as its part of expense and capital budget proposals for this year’s municipal budget.
The requests are a wish-list for the board, which covers communities from Pelham Bay to Co-op City, Throggs Neck to City Island.
The top three budget requests for the capital projects include a dredging and upgrade project for Hammonds Cove Marina, a performing arts center in the elliptical buildings at Orchard Beach, and construction on a comfort station for Ferry Point Park West with interim portable bathrooms.
The top three requests for expense projects in the city’s budget were security issues in CB 10 parks, improving the “ring road” underneath the Whitestone Bridge, and a recreational program for Pearly Gates Park in Zerega.
CB 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns said that dredging Hammonds Cove Marina has been a budget priority for several years.
“The mayor’s waterfront plan calls for all these wonderful things to happen along the city’s waterfront,” said Kearns. “We’re a board with a lot of waterfront. Most of it is not in public hands.”
Since Hammonds Cove is a publicly owned marina, the project is a good way to increase opportunities for water recreation, said Kearns. Dredging would increase the ease of boats coming to and exiting from the marina.
The need for more Parks Enforcement Police is taking center stage, with the board now making it the top expense budget request.
“We have a lot of issues in Ferry Point with illegal vendors, and also in Orchard Beach where you have people who sell “nutcrackers,” which is illegal hooch,” said Kearns. “And then we have other issues with parks that are used as drop off and pick up points for drug dealers.”
With the loss of the 45th Precinct’s narcotics module, the board, along with precinct Capt. James McGeown advocating for more resources to fight drug crime, said Kearns.
Drug sales in CB10 often involve people from outside the area who drive to locations, make an exchange, and then drive away, making use of the highways, said Kearns.
John Marano, CB 10 chairman and a former police officer, said that he feels the reason that crime statistics show a little drug related crime in the precinct is because there are not enough officers investigating drug crimes. “The reason why the crime numbers are down is there are no investigators in the 45th Precinct,” said Marano.
Performing Arts Center
A new performing arts center for Orchard Beach would work well with an existing bandstand in front of the elliptical buildings there, said Kearns.
“This is a landmarked building, but it is suffering from structural issues,” said Kearns. “One of the ways to get it renovated would be to consider using the building, currently concession stands and what had been bathhouses, and making it into a performing arts center.”
Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393