Last night, Councilmember Stephen Levin and Mayor Bill de Blasio held a town hall for Council District 33. NAG and North Brooklyn were out in force. A lot of important announcements were made, especially in the realm of parks and open space. Here is a quick recap.
- The McCarren Park ball fields will get a $6 million rehab (this is in addition to the rehab of the soccer field and track, already slated for next spring).
- At Bushwick Inlet Park, $9 million has been committed to environmental remediation of the Motiva site (the strip of land around the Inlet itself. Another $7.7 million will go towards construction of a permanent park space at 50 Kent (the new lawn between N10 and N11 that National Grid completed remediation at earlier this year). Those figures are on top of $22 million that has already been allocated for demolition and environmental testing at the Bayside Fuel Oil site.
- The Hamilton Avenue waste transfer site has officially opened, which means 100 fewer trucks coming through North Brooklyn every day. This is an important follow-through on the garbage equity plan first implemented under the Bloomberg administration.
- Alternate side of the street parking will be cut to two days per week (from 4 now) throughout CB1.
Following questioning by NAG Board member Ward Dennis, Mayor de Blasio and Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver provided additional details on the Bushwick Inlet Park buildout. The Mayor confirmed that the City will be allocating capital funds in next year’s budget and will be preparing a long-term capital plan for the full funding of the park. Work on the Motiva and 50 Kent sites should begin by 2019 and will be completed by 2021 or 2022 (according to Commissioner Silver – the Mayor said that it should happen sooner).
NAG Board member Laura Treciokas asked about the L train shutdown, and specifically what the City is doing about this important issue. The Mayor reiterated that the MTA is a state agency, beyond his control, but did go on to say that his Department of Transportation will work with the MTA and he promised that things will start to get busier on that front. This is an issue that NAG is actively working on.
NAG Board chair Alan Minor asked the Mayor about lead in soil and high lead levels in north Brooklyn. The Mayor and the Commissioner of Health said that they believed that the risk was overstated, and, importantly, promised to meet and share notes and data with NAG.