From the Queens Chronicle:
Two weeks ago when plans were released for a once $1 million, now $4.3 million project to transform the defunct art deco diving pool next to the Astoria pool into an amphitheater, the reaction from some was “huh?”
How did a plan quadruple in price?
At first, based on a meeting held on Feb. 20, the price tag seemed to have skyrocketed because of materials. However, the cost of cement hasn’t matured like gold.
Asked to clarify, a city Parks Department spokesman said the scope of the project has grown.
Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) allocated the money for the proposal. He wants to see shovels in the ground before his term-limited tenure expires at the end of the year — although he does aspire to represent Queens as the next borough president — but is not happy with the escalated price.
As for comments online that the money should go toward oft-neglected Flushing Meadows Corona Park instead, Vallone responded that “the argument isn’t about if money should be going to different Queens parks, the argument should be why it goes to other boroughs and not Queens.”
Because our elected officials suck, that's why. And Vallone allocated $1M, not the whole $4.3M, so why are so many taxpayer dollars from outside Astoria being fed into this money pit? They won't even have a $2M crapper like Elmhurst Park has.