Friday, October 21, 2011
Armory in rent dispute with senior center
From the Times Ledger:
The elderly attendees of the Whitestone Armory are joining with the Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Civic Association and state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) to decry a plan by the state Division of Military and Naval Affairs they describe as designed to force them to pay more money.
The division has said it wants to raise annual rent from $25,000 to $31,000 for the Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Community Center to use the facility to offer courses and activities for seniors as well as athletic classes and recreation space for children, Avella said.
But state funding has been slashed to the center — a separate entity from the civic — and it is already having trouble making its rent. So last week about 100 seniors, Avella and members of the Greater Whitestone Taxpayers held a rally outside the Armory, at 150-74 6th Ave., aimed at drawing attention to their cause and calling on the division to find a way to allow the center to continue to use the space.
Avella said the state agency said it is raising the rent because it needs to pay for added security, but his deputy chief of staff said Tuesday that the agency’s rental agreement with the community center already dedicates too much money to security — especially since the National Guard has a presence there.