2007-06-22 / Front Page

How Shall We Spend $40 Million? Parks Asks

By Brian Magoolaghan

The Parks Department is hosting two listening sessions over the next few days to hear the public's thoughts on how $40 million in city funds should be spent in Rockaway.

The agency is hoping that individuals, civic associations, senior citizens, athletic program directors, environmentalists and others will attend the listening sessions to "weigh in" on "the most effective ways" Parks can use the windfall, according to Rockaway Administrator Jill Weber.

The funds, part of the mayor's PlaNYC 2030 long-range sustainability plan for the city, have been earmarked for developing or improving Parks properties in the Far Rockaway area, according to Weber.

"This is a great opportunity for the public," she said.

Community Board 14 Chairperson Dolores Orr said concession stands and a small entertainment venue east of Beach 32 Street, as well as improvements to the Lanett Playground in West Lawrence, were part of informal talks.

Parks is "saying they want to hear from the community, so they can spend it in the right places," said Orr. She added that she was "quite surprised and pleased" when she heard about the monies, but also shared some words of caution. First, it's still not clear when the money will be available; second, "It goes very quickly. It's amazing," she told The Wave.

Both community listening sessions will be held in the Meditation Room at Peninsula Hospital, 51-15 Beach Channel Drive. The first one will be held on Sunday, June 24 from 3 to 5 p.m.; the second one on Wednesday, June 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. Those who wish to attend are encouraged to R.S.V.P. by calling Weber at 718 - 318- 4000 or by emailing her at Jill.Weber@parks.nyc.gov

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