Community Board 8 members discussed a variety of issues during their meeting on Oct. 9 at the Hillcrest Jewish Center, where they also approved their capital and expense budget priorities.
Free immigration assistance from a lawyer, a new service for the CB 8 area, will be provided on the first and third Fridays at its office at 197-15 Hillside Ave. in Hollis, through June. Funding came from Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) and CUNY Citizenship Now.
The board discussed the Mortgage Assistance Program with the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, under which homeowners can now receive a loan of up to $25,000 with no interest to help with mortgages.
The Department of Buildings is working on a five-day turnaround for complaints from the board and elected officials, it was reported. There are 165 stalled construction sites in the district, which make up 18 percent of the total number citywide.
According to the budget priorities, which passed unanimously, the top wishes of the board include rehabilitating sewers, catch basins and water mains in the area and installing storm sewers. Others of the 40 priorities include expanding the Briarwood Library, adding a police surveillance camera along Main Street between Manton Street and 84th Road, adding a senior center for the community district and having Wi-Fi at Fresh Meadows Park on 188th Street and the Horace Harding Expressway.
For the expense budget, which passed 24- 7, many of the priorities involved the Police Department, including increasing personnel at the 107th Precinct to the 2009 level and providing funds to hire school crossing guards.
A form from the board showed that members voted for their top priority programs, which include senior services, inspections, childcare, emergency medical services, branch library services, enforcement and bus maintenance while the lowest priorities include economic development initiatives, food services in education, services for the homeless and community development services for youth.
The next CB 8 meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 13 the Hillcrest Jewish Center on Union Turnpike, 183-02 Union Turnpike, Flushing.