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Queens Chronicle

CB 13 backs skate park effort with 12

Boards to join forces for proposed Laurelton Playground rec project

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Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:12 am, Thu Nov 7, 2013.

Community boards 12 and 13 now are working in formal unison to get a skate park built at the Laurelton Playground on Brookville Boulevard.

Greg Mays, the Parks chairman at CB 12, spoke at Board 13’s monthly meeting on Monday night, saying the closest skate parks now are between six and eight miles away.

“Kids will use this skate park,” he said.

Peter Richards, Parks chairman on CB 13, confirmed he and Mays had been in informal contact about the possibility, and got the vote they sought on Monday to make the joint effort an official one.

Mays, who got the go-ahead from his board nearly two weeks ago, said the park meets the criteria of the city’s Parks Department for conversion to a skating facility.

He said the playground already has pavement in place; it is considered underutilized; and there is vast evidence that children already use the site for skating.

The cost will be about $2 million for a park which both men said would be a draw for children and young adults from communities on both sides of the district boundary lines. They will be approaching the Borough President’s Office and elected officials for any available funding.

In other news from the meeting, Barbara Brown, president of the Eastern Queens Alliance, updated the board on the meeting the EQA hosted last week with the Port Authority on its plans to relocate a runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport closer to populated areas [see related story].

Brown said the board and Queens residents must keep pressing the PA and federal officials to conduct a formal environmental impact study on the area that will take into account both air and noise pollution.

“If we just accept this report, they do not have to do anything,” she said, holding up a copy of a revised study released on Oct. 18. “This says there will be no impact,” she said.

The board also heard from Liz O’Donnell of the city’s Office of Emergency Management who made a brief presentation on the new flood evacuation zone maps that were crafted following Hurricane Sandy.

While old maps had a handful of color-coded zones, the newer, more detailed ones have six, covering far more areas that might now be considered at risk in a major storm.

While repeating general recommendations such as having adequate supplies of water on hand and a so-called “go bag” filled with things like important tools, personal papers and medications, O’Donnell said experts now suggest that people also have an out-of-state contact who, under some conditions, would be able to get news out to a storm victim’s friends and family.

There was a brief commotion when Bob Friedrich, president of Glen Oaks Village, protested that the printed map of flood zones does not include communities in Northeastern Queens such as Glen Oaks, Floral Park and New Hyde Park.

“The map ends at the Cross Island Parkway,” Friedrich said.

A check of OEM’s website confirmed O’Donnell’s assertion that all city addresses would come up when logged into the site’s search field. It also showed that the printed map ends in the east not just at the Cross Island Parkway, but at the end of areas considered flood zones.

The Glen Oaks address on Friedrich’s business card proved to be outside of any flood zone.

An unscientific survey also determined from multiple sources that Glen Oaks and some of its surrounding communities all are between 118 and 258 feet above sea level.

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