In what was probably the worst-kept secret at Community Board 5, members have once again placed flood control infrastructure at the top of their capital budget priority list for 2014.
The vote was taken on Oct. 10 at Christ the King High School in Middle Village. The top priority project — the redesign and reconstruction of the stormwater sewer system in flood-prone areas within CB 5 — remains unchanged from last year.
So too does the second project on their wish list, which once again is the dual focus on adding new catch basins and reconstructing older ones.
The reconstruction of the Metropolitan Avenue bridge over the Long Island Rail Road at Fresh Pond Road once again ranks third.
Other projects rounding out the top 10, should the funding become available from the city, include:
• reconstruction of bridge abutments above the Cooper Avenue underpass along with construction of a new pedestrian bridge at the site;
• Stage 2 of the continued rehabilitation of the Ridgewood Reservoir and Highland Park;
• continued studies of the sewer system with an eye toward existing flooding problems and anticipated growth;
• rehabilitation of the Glendale Branch of the Queens Library;
• reconstruction of streets in South Middle Village;
• pedestrian and vehicle safety upgrades on Grand Avenue at the Long Island Expressway service roads; and
• the replacement of the synthetic turf ballfield and running track at the western end of Juniper Valley Park.
Stage 1 of the Ridgewood Reservoir project is progressing, with a newly paved walking path, new fencing and antique-style lamp posts.
The city still is studying the feasibility of turning one of the three basins from the discontinued 19th-century reservoir into athletic fields. CB 5 is looking to keep the area as a nature preserve.
In other board business, Georgiana Cooke, president of the Middle Village Meadows Condominium Association, asked the board about the possibility of speed bumps or parking restrictions along a portion of Mount Olivet Crescent when the preschool located at the condominimumcomplex is in session.
Cooke said residents have tried for speed bumps and 20 mile-per-hour zones in the past. “We’re the ones who will be sued if a child gets hit,” she said.
CB 5 Chairman Vincent Arcuri asked the the association to put its request in writing as the first step, allowing CB 5 to take it up in its transportation committee and then the full board. The step after that, he said, is the city’s Department of Transportation.
“It should be a no-brainer,” Arcuri said, with the slight hesitation in his voice of a leader who has dealt with the DOT on far more than one occasion.
Back on the subject of flooding, Dominick Dale, representing the office of Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), said the city’s Department of Environmental Protection is planning a pair of sewer projects, in 2013 and 2015, respectively, aimed at reducing the flooding.
He said the councilwoman is investigating whether the city could move up the 2015 project and do both together in 2013, which in turn would speed up at least some flood relief in the district.