The Parks Department will begin accepting bids for the $7.6 million project May 28, according to Steve Fiedler, chairman of Community Board Five's Parks Committee. He said construction is scheduled to begin in the fall, which gives the board a few more months to make its case.
“Hopefully we can get the Parks Department to realize the community doesn't like what's going on,” he said.
Phase one work includes new lighting, pathways, stairs, an ADA-compliant ramp, and a controversial four-foot fence around the three-basin reservoir on the Brooklyn-Queens border.
CB5, numerous elected officials, and community groups all support the creation of a taller six-foot perimeter fence to ward off vandals and an enclosed pedestrian bridge over Vermont Place, among other changes.
So far, the Parks Department has rejected the recommendations.
Parks told Fielder a taller fence would disturb views of the reservoir, but he pointed out that thick summer foliage does that anyway. “We don't believe the reason they gave holds any merit at all,” he said.
Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski caused a stir at a meeting last week when she announced that dozens of trees would be cut to accommodate phase one construction.
The work is part of a larger, $26 million redevelopment of the reservoir, which was decommissioned in 1989.