2008-05-09 / Top Stories

ENACT Meets To Discuss Arverne East

By Timothy Aaron-Styles

On Tuesday, August 18, approximately thirty-five people eventually trickled into room 205 at the Blanche Community Progress Day Care Center for the Edgemere Neighborhood Action Community Team (ENACT)'s monthly meeting, chaired by longtime Rockaway community leader, Ernest Brown.

While several items were on the ENACT agenda, the approximately ninety-minute meeting primarily focused on the report from the group's March meeting which featured a video presentation by representatives from the Bluestone Organization, one of the three developers of the much anticipated Arverne East Project.

Brown brought those attendees up on the history of the developing relationship between ENACT and the Arverne East developers.

"Three years ago ENACT got together and developed an eight point program to present to the developers," he shared. "We wanted to make sure we did all we could to ensure that the community benefited from the economic, cultural and recreational progress projected to occur."

Over that three-year period, under Brown and affiliate organizations pursued a relationship with Bluestone and their partners that would "positively manage any concerns and problems that might arise."

According to Brown and ENACT member, and apparent recording secretary, Rudy Williams "the eight point program was forwarded to elected officials and all others who might be interested in working with ENACT." While the overwhelming response and support ENACT members hoped for never came, Brown enthusiastically stated that Bluestone's response "has been very good."

"They have had two meetings with us….a collaboration between them and us looks very promising…very likely," Brown confirmed.

Among the initiatives brought to the bargaining table by ENACT, Bluestone has expressed some possible interest in are sponsorship of a job training program for local residents, which might lead to actual employment for participants, the development of a senior citizen's facility and the construction of an additional wing for a school located in the designated area.

"In addition to jobs there are those people who are interested in business ownership… information needs to be available to them in order to participate entrepreneurially, Brown articulated. The Arverne East Project team member's are The Bluestone Organization, L&M Equity, and Triangle Equities and is considered to be the "sister development" to the Arverne By the Sea Project.

Also in attendance was Joan McCroud, Community Liaison for Congressman Gregory Meeks, who informed the crowd about the Congressman's upcoming town hall meeting to address the problems many Rockaway residents are experiencing with the post office and the delivery of their mail.

"Please attend the meeting…we must show up to let them know how important it is for us to receive our mail without impediment," he commented.

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