Community Board 10: budget response the same year in and year out

The dredging of Hammond Cove may not be a budget priority for city officials downtown, but Community Board 10 is still pressing for it.
Community News Group / Photo by Patrick Rocchio

Community Board 10 received the same responses to may of its requests in the city budget for fiscal year 2016 that it has in previous years.

Now CB 10 has written a letter to Mayor de Blasio, expressing its frustration with those responses to its capital and expense budget requests in this year’s Statement on the Preliminary Budget.

“For many of our projects, we are reputedly told year after year that ‘further study is needed’ or ‘contact your elected officials,” states CB 10’s letter to the mayor, adding “Seeing the same responses repeated over and over again from the agencies fosters a belief on our part that our requests are not being taken seriously.”

The board letter requests that the agencies re-visit the requests and provide the community with more substantive answers.

“There is frustration that we are always provided with off-the-cuff responses like ‘ask your elected officials,’ or that ‘further study is needed’” said Martin Prince, CB 10 chairman, adding that this goes back to previous administrations. “It is never like anyone makes a serious review of what we ask for; they seem to just put it off.”

At this point, the board may start to take a look at where its tax dollars are going if its not funding community requests.

“We may start reviewing agency by agency to see what share of its budget is coming back to our community,” he said.

Among the CB 10 requests where the response was ‘further study is needed’ was its top capital request of a dredging and upgrade of Hammond Cove, the site of a Parks Department marina concession.

“This is a place that can bring in revenue if it is properly maintained,” said Prince of the cove. “Look at it as an investment.”

Long a top request by CB10, the cove may see some dredging near a bottleneck in its waterway, but this may come from state money secured by Senator Jeff Klein, not from the city.

While a first step, it is not clear if the $1 million state-funded upgrade will provide all the improvements needed at the cove, or even if it will be finalized in the state budget, though the latter looks likely, sources said.

Another long-standing request in the expense budget is that the Police Department reestablish a narcotics module for the 45th Precinct and increase its resources, or considers creating a merged one with the neighboring 49th Precinct.

The response CB 10 received was that NYPD resources in fighting drug crime are deployed borough-wide, and that all precinct commanders can request this unit.

“The summonses and enforcement patrols are certainly here,” said John Marano, CB 10 vice-chair of conditions in the 45th Precinct, which share the same boundaries as CB 10. “Why should we have to fight for resources?”

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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