After a tallying of votes on how to spend $7 million of money allotted by the state after a botched Newtown Creek renovation, residents who live near to the creek in Queens and Brooklyn would like most to see the Dutch Kills Basin Acquisition project be implemented on 47th Avenue, east of 27th Street to 29th Street.
Residents had a chance to make their voices heard last month during two voting sessions – one in Long Island City, the other in Greenpoint – on 22 projects that were submitted by local community groups.
The $3 million project to acquire a private industrial parcel of land to expand waterfront access, stormwater management and community facilities also includes a multi-use park with an athletic field.
Breaking down the scores, the Dutch Kills Acquisition received an overwhelming number of votes from high school students, ranking number one on the youth ballots list. It came in at fourth on the adult ballots, but when combining the points, Dutch Kills resulted as the number one project between both groups.
Coming in second overall was the Wetlands Rehabilitation, which came in second rank on the youth ballots and third on the adult ballots. The $2 million project along the creek aims to build intertidal zones and seagrass using bulkheads that will support the terraced structures, as well as intertidal communities of filter feeders like krills or clams, in hopes that the water will become purified.
Finishing third was the Greenpoint Boathouse and Environmental Education Center, which received the most votes in the adult ballots, but placed sixth on the youth ballots. The boathouse is set to cost $5 million.
Rounding out the list at number four was the Saint Savior’s project on Rust and 58th streets in Maspeth, which would cost an estimated $8.5 million to purchase land from the private owner of the site to build a park.
According to David Rivel, executive director of the City Parks Foundation, a total of 699 responses were received during the two sessions, where each person was asked to rank five projects of their choosing from among the 22 total projects. Of those who participated in the voting, 533 were adults and 166 were youth under 21.
Most participants hailed form Greenpoint, followed by Maspeth, Williamsburg and Long Island City.
“We were pleased to see such balanced participation from these communities,” Rivel said in an email message.
He noted that the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) wants to fund projects that have a broad-based support, but that they will also take into consideration other factors when making the decision of which project to complete.
Factors such as how far the project is from the Wastewater Treatment Plant and the cost and feasibility of the project will be considered. He also noted that just because a project receives the most support does not mean that the department is required to start work on it.
The DEC will look at the work that took place at the two community meetings prior to voting and the results of the survey conducted at the beginning of the project, along with the votes.
“The DEC will take all of this material into consideration when making their final decision about which project(s) to fund,” he said.