2004-06-18 / Front Page

Modified Tribute Park Design OK’d By City

Modified Tribute Park Design OK’d By City

The Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways and the Rockaway Partnership have announced that the final approval for the design of Tribute Park has been received from the NYC Arts Commission and that the long-awaited park can once again begin construction.

"In cooperation with the NYC Parks Department and the Mayor’s office, modifications were made to the submitted design that ultimately received approval," says Chamber President John Lepore. "We were able to preserve all the essential elements from our original plan while implementing the changes necessary to satisfy the Commission’s recommendations."

"In many ways," Lepore added, "the process of going before the commission was a positive one since we had access to commissioners from many different disciplines that were able to present a perspective we would have never had."

According to those close to the park planning process, one of the turning points was the fact that Lepore and new Executive Director Joanie Omeste, aware that none of the Art Commissioners had been here before, invited them for a site visit and a tour of the Rockaways.

Omeste believes that’s when they "got it." She added "it seemed to be the turning point, the Commissioners now understood how the community was coming together for this worthwhile project."

Omeste said that, at the full Committee meeting on Monday, the Arts Commission was actually excited about giving the Chamber the go ahead.

City Councilman Joseph Addabbo also supported the Chamber during the hearings and pledged financial assistance to ameliorate the impact of the changes necessitated by the approval process. "I think that we will ultimately have a better park because of this, Lepore added, "our challenge now is to get construction moving again so that we can finally enjoy our park".

The Chamber wishes to thank the many, many people who contributed their time and efforts to this process,

and look forward to doing so formally at the dedication ceremony. Completion of the park is slated for fall 2004.

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