Thursday, July 12, 2012

Parks lied about condition of College Point trees

From the Times Ledger:

Hardly any of the trees chopped down around the College Point Police Academy in late March were dead, contradicting what a city Parks Department representative told the community. They were instead removed at the request of the lead contractor for the $1 billion project, according to city documents.

The Parks Department signed off on 82 tree removals along College Point Boulevard, 28th Avenue and Ulmer Street, which were carried out to the horror of neighborhood residents.

At an April meeting between Community Board 7 and several city agencies, representatives from Parks and the NYPD said the trees had to be removed because they were dead.

“Right before they were removed, I had two of my foresters go out there with a representative and they inspected every tree and removed all of the dead trees,” Shawn Maerz, deputy director of the Queens Forestry Division, told the meeting. He went on to detail the harsh conditions that make life hard for other batches of trees that had been planted in the area.

But documents obtained by TimesLedger Newspapers through a Freedom of Information request show that the trees were inspected Feb. 27, about a month before they were cut down and that only eight were classified as dead. Nearly all were classified as being in poor condition. Two of the trees were even classified as fair and one as good.

A Parks department spokesman said Maerz misspoke at the meeting and had never held the position that the trees were dead.

But the trees were going to be removed no matter what condition they were in, according to documents obtained from Parks, which shows the College Point construction project will involve tearing up the entire sidewalk and replacing it.

In fact, Maerz had signed a letter addressed to a contractor on the academy project two months before the community board meeting that indicated the removals were entirely to accommodate construction.


georgetheatheist said...

I have to laugh.

They "protect" trees from being chopped down or damaged with 2x4's from trees that have been chopped down or damaged.

Anonymous said...

DOROTHY what's the story now?

Anonymous said...

Queens Parks Dept needs to be fully investigated...from top to bottom.
Adrien Benepe timed his exit perfectly. The incompetence and corruption finally got to him.

Anonymous said...

how much does it cost the taxpayer to plant one tree?

Anonymous said...

the city doesn't even take care of the old trees, limbs falling off, etc. cut those baby trees down before they grow up and damage taxpayer sidewalks.

Alfredo C said...

Is it me or does it seem no one cares? I mean once again the people were lied to! Once again they proved their incompetent ! Once again the taxpayer is left footing the bill!

When is enough enough?

Anonymous said...

$1,600.00 to plant one tree!

Anonymous said...

if that cost is correct. at the playground of P.S.159Q, Bayside the cost for 17 dead siblings originally planted is $27,200.00, plus $27,200 for replanting new trees.
a total of $54,400.00.

"thank you Doomsberg", the taxpayers......

and they destroyed the softball field and full court basketball site.

Tree Pruning Hendersonville NC said...

What does it ever help to tell the mass public the truth? Think about it in modern day, the government hiding whatever from us just 'cause. Peace. Thats why. If they didn't want to go through with construction they wouldn't have lied to keep it behind their backs and make sure the tree removal had gone through. They weren't going to give a fair chance.

-Tony Salmeron