Details still need to be worked out but it looks like the historic Brinckerhoff Cemetery in Fresh Meadows will be purchased through the efforts of the Borough President’s Office.
Borough President Melinda Katz recently announced that she has allocated $150,000 to buy the burial ground that dates back to 1730. That was the asking price of its owner, Le Dan Cai, who cannot build on the property because it was landmarked in 2012.
Once the landmarking was in place, there was little the owner could do with the property.
Jim Gallagher, president of the Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association, who has been fighting for years to save the neglected site, said Monday that he and members of Friends of the Brinckerhoff Colonial Cemetery have to meet with Katz to discuss a plan.
The nonprofit Friends group was organized after the city designated the site a landmark in an attempt to raise funds to purchase it. The group is headed by Yolanda Dela Cruz-Gallagher, the civic president’s wife, but fundraising has been difficult.
The belief is the land could go to the Parks Department as that agency does handle several other burial grounds, but most are located in larger park facilities. More than likely the city will retain ownership and the Friends group would maintain the property.