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Board votes on budget recommendations

The rehabilitation of the lower path at Owls Head Park – which has undergone significant erosion over the years – topped the list of Fiscal Year 2014 capital budget priorities that members of Community Board 10 signed off on at their October meeting.

Indeed, parks – with 17 items — dominated the list of 23 projects that the members of the advisory volunteer group would like to see done in the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton.

For the Owls Head Park project, the request list noted that it is “in dire need of rehabilitation,” and stressed that it is “at a critical state as dirt is drifting onto the sidewalk along 68th Street and clogging catch basins.

Other parks projects on the list included the restoration of the interior path in Shore Road Park from Fourth Avenue to 95th Street (number two), also because of erosion; the refurbishment of the tennis courts in six different parks in the district (number five); the reconstruction of the Shore Parkway bike path/promenade between the Verrazano and Bay Eighth Street (number six); and the renovation of portions of Shore Road park between 72nd and 84th Streets and 86th and 97th Streets, where “missing hexagon pavement blocks create hazardous pedestrian conditions” and “untended brush and foliage has proliferated to such an extent that only restoration of the landscaping can restore the area.”

For all park requests, at the suggestion of board member Jean Ryan, CB 10 requested that all improvements be handicapped-accessible, something, she stressed, that is not now the case in many parks.

Other items on the list include the “design for new and larger catch basins on Narrows Avenue and Colonial Road” where flooding after heavy rains causes “flooding and hardship for residents” as well as posing a danger to drivers.

“I think issues where safety and habitability are affected are the highest priority,” noted CB 10 member Susan Romero, who said that the severe flooding on the block she lives on is “more important than aesthetic [concerns].”

Also on the list at number 19 was the construction of a science lab at Denyse Wharf (see story in this issue), added after the presentation by lab advocate Tom Greene. Restoring ferry service to the Veterans Memorial Pier at Bay Ridge Avenue was number 23 on the list.

Of 24 expense budget priorities that the board also approved, number one was to “Restore and preclude cuts to community boards,” which each year seem to have to fight back against significant budget cuts that could impede their viability. The boards function as the most local level of city government. Each is comprised of 50 volunteer members – who advise on projects and changes proposed for the area — and is run by a small paid office staff.

Number two on the list is to maintain funding levels for firefighting manpower; number three is to maintain the number of police officers, while increasing civilian staffing in the NYPD to free police officers from desk jobs; number four is maintaining funding for additional trash pickups from corner cans along commercial thoroughfares.

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