Fresh Meadows Councilman Rory Lancman pledged to fully fund the purchase of a historical cemetery on 182nd Avenue from the current private owner that has no intention of preserving the plot of land.
“Buying the cemetery is the easy part,” Lancman said about the Brinckerhoff Cemetery. “We need to make sure that an organization with the infrastructure can shoulder the responsibility of upkeeping and maintaining the cemetery.”
The 18th century cemetery was designated a landmark in 2012, thwarting the efforts of the owner, Linda Cai, to develop the land into housing or commercial property.
Lancman, whose coverage area includes Fresh Meadows, said that his office was in the process of looking for an organization that would be able to take care of the colonial cemetery.
The Friends of the The Brinckerhoff Colonial Cemetery, a nonprofit, helped the site gain the landmark status and is in the process of raising money to buy the cemetery. But so far, Lancman hasn’t offered to buy the property for the group because he isn’t sure if the organization
“I’m not going to make the decision unilaterally,” Lancman said. “We need to sit down with the community and figure it out.”