Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Red Light On Park Project? by Ralph Mancini - Times Newsweekly

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The co-chair of Community Board 5’s Parks Committee announced during the panel’s May 24 meeting at Principe Park in Maspeth that he would seek a stop work order barring the start of the first phase of the renovations to the Ridgewood Reservoir.

Steven Fiedler told attendees that the panel would seek to halt plans by the Parks Department to install new lighting and fencing around the perimeter of the 55-acre site on the Brooklyn/Queens border, which the city plans to transform along with adjacent Highland Park into a new regional park.

According to Fiedler, the main point of contention centers around the proposed installation of a 4’-high fence surrounding the site, which he charged would not be tall enough to keep potential vandals and other trespassers out of the basins. Reportedly, the work would also require the removal of several trees.

Concerns about the height of the fencing were brought to the attention of Queens Borough Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, but Fiedler charged that his opinions were not well received.

“She won’t listen and she catches an attitude,” he claimed regarding his past attempts to reach out to Lewandowski about his gripes with the project, which is scheduled to commence in the fall.

The Parks Department is reportedly in the process of receiving bids for phase one work, which would include the installation of stairs and an ADA-compliant ramp.