Addabbo: More Lifeguards Possible, Limit Cross Bay Tolls
More Lifeguards Possible, Limit Cross Bay Tolls
By Miriam Rosenberg
City Councilman Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. announced the possibility of more lifeguards for Rockaway's beaches this summer in a speech at the RDRC (Rock away Development and Revit aliz ation Corporation) Business Con fer ence on March 12.
He also spoke about the economic development of the peninsula and putting a seasonal limit on Cross Bay Bridge Tolls.
Addabbo sits on the Parks and Rec reation committee and came to the con ference from a budget hearing for the Department of Parks and Recreat ion for fiscal 2005.
"We are not going to touch the budget as far as lifeguards is concerned. We expect to have, if not the same compliment, hopefully a [few] more lifeguards here in Rockaway so we can open up our beaches even longer," said Addabbo as applause filled the room.
The applause was a reaction to last year's regulations that closed the beaches at 9 p.m. and caused many Rock away residents to protest the early closing times. The possibility of extra lifeguards follows a report in the March 5 issue of The Wave that the Park's Department will be training 1,100 lifeguards for this summer. That is approximately 100 more than last year.
Addabbo talked about ways to aid in the economic development of the Rock aways.
"When you talk about economic dev elop ment, it's an investment by business owners, it's an investment by our government on every level - city, state or federal," explained Addabbo. "I think they need to do it sooner than later."
Addabbo said that he had spoken with State Senator Malcolm Smith about asking Governor Pataki to eliminate the tolls on the Cross Bay Bridge.
"If not removing it for good, possibly removing it from Labor Day to Mem orial Day, similar to what they do at Jones Beach," proposed Addabbo.
"Why not do the same thing here so that during our off season, beachwise, Labor Day to Memorial Day there should be no toll; so that people would be encouraged to open businesses here and residents would be encouraged to come to Rockaway85 and spend some money here."
He told the audience that a ferry service would help bring visitors to the area.
"I've been in the City Council for two years, and I've been pushing a ferry service," Addabbo said. "We also have to think about [bringing] people here so they can enjoy what's here and obviously help us in our economic development."
Addabbo explained that many things play into the economic development of the Rockaways.
"The Parks Department has to kick in, the Sanitation Department has to kick in, and our quality of transportation has to kick in," said Addabbo.
He also included beautification in the equation.
"If it's not a beautiful area people won't invest, as far as opening up a business, and people won't [come here] and shop."