Sunday, December 6, 2009

Park still in disgraceful condition

From Uche Abanobi at Interactive Journalism:

Busted fences, cracked pathways, blown out lights- this is the scene at Frank M. Charles Memorial Park, a national park located by Jamaica Bay in Howard Beach.

Charles Park, which also includes the adjacent West Hamilton Beach Park, is a national preserve. It lies within the Gateway National Recreational Area and is owned by the National Park Service, a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. This past month Will Shafroth, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks for the U.S. Department of Interior surveyed the park. He acknowledged that its features were more parallel with a city park, like the clay baseball field, playground, etc., which would make it more difficult for an NPS worker to maintain.

Earlier this year Congressman Gregory Meeks made a 2010 appropriations request for one million dollars towards Gateway National Parks Services regarding renovating Charles Park.

Despite this additional funding, the conditions at Charles Park have not improved. Fences, paths, lights are all still in disarray and no one seems to be able to account for the funds.

However, this is not the first time Charles Park has received large amounts of funding. In 2000, before the current redistricting, Congressman Anthony Weiner worked with Gateway NRA to secure one million dollars in funding to repair the park’s courts, fields, lighting, paths, etc.

“Congressman Anthony Weiner secured a one million dollar earmark. That money provided some repairs, but was not sufficient and was not in the view of some local residents distributed fairly between the two parks,” said Braton.


Taxpayer said...

Wouldn't this have qualified as a "shovel ready" project for use of the 'Stimulus" money? (Another name for Tax dollars.)

So why have the conditions persisted?

Why have Meeks and Weiner dropped the ball after tapping our money? No interest in follow-through? No political benefit?

Anonymous said...

Meeks and Weiner haven't dropped the ball. Gateway has. In the case of Weiner, the million he secured was not effectively spent by Gateway. No one has to look any further than to compare what a million at that time would have resulted in at a city park with the Gateway result. Gateway can't even give a straight answer about what the Meeks million secured last year got spent on. Overall, 2 million could have bought far more than what Gateway has delivered. Gateway also has additional acreage in Howard Beach besides Charles Park and Hamilton Park that it has not done anything with in more than 25 years.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Addabbo involved with Parks? You would think these issues would have been handled a long time ago without using stimulus $.

Queens Crapper said...

It's a national park, not state or city.

Anonymous said...

As a Councilman or now as a State Senator, Addabbo had no jurisdiction. That park is federal, under the control of the National Park Service.

Anonymous said...

You need to plan housing for thousands - then MILLIONS will go in, 'eh Baloney Maloney?

The city will throw in new sidewalks, a library, school, BIKE LANES, and sidewalk trees.

A real 'public access job creation project'.