Tag Archives: Councilmember Julissa Ferreras

Jackson Heights, Corona get ‘taste’ of better living thru business improvement district


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilmember Julissa Ferreras

Businesses, property owners and residents along Roosevelt Avenue and Junction Boulevard are getting a taste of how being a business improvement district (BID) can improve their quality of life.

Councilmember Julissa Ferreras announced sanitation and graffiti removal services for the areas. They come as part of her New Deal for Roosevelt Avenue, which promised a “taste” of services to be offered by the Jackson Heights-Corona BID.

The “Taste of the BID” is a partnership between Ferreras, the Department of Small Business Services, the 82nd Street Partnership and local property owners. The Jackson Heights-Corona BID itself, which is still being formed, will cover the major commercial corridors of Roosevelt Avenue, Junction Boulevard and 103rd Street.

“By bringing new sanitation crews to our heavily-trafficked business corridors like Roosevelt Avenue and Junction Boulevard, we are not only increasing safety and cleanliness,” Ferreras said. “We are also helping to drive new customers to our local businesses.”

Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership, touted further pluses.

“Merchants and property owners along Roosevelt Avenue and Junction Boulevard will begin to see how cleaner sidewalks can make the neighborhood a better place to shop and stroll,” he said Seth Taylor. “We are delighted that the community is getting a small taste of what the proposed Jackson Heights-Corona BID will do to improve quality of life, and we are encouraged by the growing support for the BID.”

The “Taste of the BID” is expected to run until the end of the year, with cleaning ambassadors in the area every day of the week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The services will cover Roosevelt Avenue from 82nd Street to 114th Street and Junction Boulevard and 103rd Street off Roosevelt Avenue.

“New sanitation crews have already begun to make a difference along Roosevelt Avenue through cleaner and brighter streets,” said Rob Walsh, commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “By providing this neighborhood with a taste of what a BID can offer, this commercial corridor will only continue to get stronger.”

 

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Education task force takes on overcrowding


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

The newly–formed District 21 education task force held is first meeting to discuss concerns such as overcrowding.

On Thursday, April 25, Councilmember Julissa Ferreras gathered with Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, local educators, parents and education advocacy groups at the Langston Hughes Library for the inaugural meeting of the Educational and Overcrowding Improvement Task Force. It is designed to address key issues facing schools in the area.

“With the help of Chancellor Walcott, the School Construction Authority and our community partners, I am happy to say that the task force is here,” Ferreras said. “Not only will it go far in improving communication between our schools and parents, but it will also develop solutions to address some of the long-standing issues our schools are facing.”

Ferreras and elected officials shared details of several goals to improve overcrowding. The goals include more community and parental involvement in rezoning and actively considering capacity in planning for co-locating two or more schools in one building.

Partners in the education task force include members of Community Education Council Districts 24 and 30, representatives from local schools and Parent-Teacher Associations.

Although the first meeting focused on overcrowding, future meetings to be held throughout the year will cover other topics. The ultimate goal is to come up with short- and long-term solutions.

“I look forward to having many more meetings this year and tackling more issues in our schools, such as obesity, safety and after-school programming,” said Ferreras.

 

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Op-Ed: BID will improve quality of life, economics


| oped@queenscourier.com

BY SETH TAYLOR

Earlier this year, Councilmember Julissa Ferreras announced a “New Deal for Roosevelt Avenue,” a holistic seven-point plan that aims to revitalize what is widely known as one of New York City’s most bustling, yet uncared for, commercial corridors.

Among the seven points is the creation of a “better business environment.” To accomplish this goal, neighborhood businesses, property owners and residents are now discussing a district plan that would expand the boundaries of the 82nd Street Partnership, a vibrant business improvement district (BID) founded in 1990, to include the busy but under-resourced stretch of Roosevelt Avenue to 114th Street.

The new Jackson Heights–Corona BID would also include vital corridors off the Roosevelt Avenue artery; namely, Junction Boulevard, 103rd Street, Corona Plaza and National Street.

Encompassing about 40 blocks with over 1,000 businesses, many of which are owned or operated by immigrant entrepreneurs, the Jackson Heights-Corona BID would become one of the city’s larger and most diverse BIDs. It would give this unique commercial district the resources and organizational capacity it needs to improve quality of life, promote local economic growth and, perhaps most importantly, plan for its future.

In planning the new Jackson Heights-Corona BID, the 82nd Street Partnership has been organizing numerous meetings and workshops with help from local groups including Make the Road New York, the Queens Chamber of Commerce, Immigrant Movement International (in conjunction with the Queens Museum of Art), Junction Boulevard Merchants Association, the Corona Community Action Network, Queens Economic Development Corporation and the city’s Department of Small Business Services. Under the leadership of Commissioner Robert Walsh, the Department of Small Business Services has successfully launched 24 BIDs citywide since 2002, with 20 of them outside Manhattan.

To further guide the BID planning process, a steering committee composed of small business owners, property owners and residents has been meeting regularly since January of this year. And a dedicated trilingual merchant organizing team has been making daily door-to-door visits to businesses. The team has collected dozens of surveys and fielded comments about the proposed BID.

Based on the extensive community input we have received thus far, the Jackson Heights–Corona BID would create a better business environment by investing in the following core programs and services:

• Sanitation, maintenance and graffiti removal: The BID’s clean team will sweep sidewalk litter, empty litter baskets, remove all graffiti from public and private property, pressure-wash sidewalks to remove pigeon droppings, paint street furniture and shovel snow from crosswalks and bus stops.

• Advocacy and small business assistance: The BID will work closely with city government agencies including police, sanitation, parks, transportation, small business services, consumer affairs and the mayor’s office, among others, to foster a business-friendly environment.

• Public space improvements: The BID will work with the city to create public spaces that are inviting and comfortable. New street trees, brighter lighting, more bicycle parking, outdoor art and new benches are some of the improvements we can expect to see.

• Marketing and events: The BID will create a shopping directory and website, organize outdoor events and promote the corridors as great places to shop and visit year-round.

As more stakeholders learn about the Jackson Heights–Corona BID plan, it is encouraging to see support steadily grow. Over the next few months, we look forward to continuing our outreach, and we encourage everyone who has a stake in the district to please get involved in this monumental neighborhood-improvement effort.

For more info on the proposed Jackson Heights–Corona BID, please visit www.JHCoronaBID.org.

Seth Taylor is executive director for the 82nd Street Partnership.

Queens Museum of Art to change name, expand


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of Grimshaw and the Queens Museum of Art

The Queens Museum of Art (QMA) is getting a major makeover. This fall, the international art space will double in size and shorten its name.

“This is a time of tremendous change for the Queens Museum,” said executive director Tom Finkelpearl.

Come October, the institution will total 105,000-square-feet. It will have new galleries, artist studios, flexible public and special event spaces, classrooms, a new café, back-of-house facilities and improved visitor amenities. Instead of QMA, it will be known simply as the Queens Museum.

Additionally, the west façade facing Grand Central Parkway has been completely redesigned with a new entrance and drop-off plaza, as well as a tremendous glass wall easily visible from the roadway. This entrance also features a multicolored lighting system and will present commissioned art projects.

The $68 million project also includes another new entrance and expanded outdoor space on the side of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, which will include a skylight atrium.

“All of this will allow people to still be in the museum, while outside in the park,” said David Strauss, director of external affairs.

Finkelpearl noted that despite the significant changes coming to the museum, what will remain constant is their dedication to “openness and engagement.”

“We designed a dynamic space that reflects our overall philosophy and allows us to broaden our current slate of public programs, introduce innovative initiatives, and create wonderful opportunities for new participants and longtime visitors to enjoy our unique brand of museum experience,” he said.

At a legislative breakfast on Friday, March 22, members of the museum hosted dozens of elected officials and community leaders from around the borough, hoping to galvanize their participation and support for the new project. The expansion thus far is supported by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Borough President Helen Marshall’s office, the state, City Council and donations from private individuals and corporations.

“It’s up to the business community to step up and help support these institutions,” said Strauss. “[We want them to] understand that a true public-private partnership makes progress like ours possible and successful.”

Congressmember Joseph Crowley recalled growing up in the borough, always enjoying the surrounding park and all that it has to offer.

“This museum is a jewel of many jewels here,” he said.

City Councilmember Julissa Ferreras, longtime supporter of the museum, acknowledged the institution’s attempts to think outside the box, bringing new and innovative programs with its expansion.

“You can’t have community without culture,” she said, getting teary-eyed. “We’ve been able to strike up new walls, and put in embracing walls [for all of Queens].”

Following the completion of Phase 1, work for Phase 2 will begin, projected to be done within 12 to 18 months.

“The Metropolitan Museum of Art better watch out,” said Marshall.

 

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82nd Street Partnership expands business improvement district


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Logo Courtesy of the 82nd Street Partnership

The 82nd Street Partnership will now extend all the way through 114th Street as part of the New Deal for Roosevelt Avenue announced by Councilmember Julissa Ferreras.

“The 82nd Street Partnership is thrilled to announce this endeavor of expanding our business improvement district to include the major commercial corridors of Roosevelt Avenue, Junction Boulevard, 103rd Street and National Street,” said Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership.

In this expansion, the 82nd Street Partnership will form the Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District (BID). This will become a community-driven effort including property owners, businesses, residents, public officials and other stakeholders that will improve the strip’s “sense of place.”

“The future BID will work to improve quality of life and support local economic activity in the neighborhood by creating a cleaner, safer, brighter, and overall more enjoyable place for everyone,” said Taylor.

Under the leadership of Ferreras and the BID’s steering committee, it will work with community boards and city government agencies, like the Department of Sanitation, to certify all the city services and resources will be delivered to the neighborhood.

According to Robert Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services, Roosevelt Avenue will continue to flourish once the change, which was brought to the stretch on 82nd Street years ago by the 82nd Street Partnership, is replicated throughout the community.

In addition to the expansion, $350,000 in funding, from Mayor Bloomberg’s office in union with Small Business Services, was secured for a “Taste of the BID.” This “taste” will introduce local business owners and community residents the benefits of the expanded partnership.

In the following months, the 82nd Street Partnership will work with its partners to develop the BID plan and help form the neighborhood’s future headed for a “collectively shared vision,” said Taylor.

An introductory seminar to the expansion for residents, property and business owners will be held on Tuesday, March 26 at 5:30 p.m. at 103-24 Roosevelt Avenue. To get more information on the BID, the community can visit www.jhcoronabid.org.

 

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‘New Deal’ to improve Roosevelt Avenue


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

In order to revitalize one of the busiest strips in New York City, Councilmember Julissa Ferreras has announced a seven-point plan known as the “New Deal for Roosevelt Avenue.”

“My community thought that anything nice didn’t belong to them, anything clean must not be for them and that is what this ‘New Deal’ is about, that our community deserves better and they’re getting better,” said Ferreras.

Ferreras gathered with elected officials, representatives from various city agencies and members of the community to give details on her “New Deal” on Tuesday, March 19. The seven points of the plan focus on improvements involving increased sanitation services, new lighting and painting, a better business environment, community-focused public safety, updated zoning, a car-free Corona Plaza and instituting a Roosevelt Avenue Task Force.

“Brighter, cleaner, safer will be the foundation for Roosevelt Avenue,” said Robert Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services.

Ferreras announced that as part of the New Deal, she has allocated $500,000 to the DOT to increase lighting on Roosevelt Avenue and to the NYPD for the installation of cameras this year starting from 82nd Street through 114th Street.

“For a safer community we need to have a well-lit space to deter criminals and cameras to keep a watchful eye on crime, should it occur,” said Ferreras.

To address the other issues including prostitution and illegal vending, Ferreras announced the Roosevelt Avenue Task Force. Comprising agencies from consumer affairs to the Health Department, the task force will tackle the community’s issues with help from residents.

“This is a very vibrant community. Roosevelt Avenue is not just about the things that go wrong here, but if we are able to improve the quality of life, I think that’s how we’ll be able to squeeze out the crime,” said Ferreras.

 

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Councilmember, cops crack down on illegally parked cars


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Councilmember Julissa Ferreras’ office has been working along with local precincts for over a year to help remove illegally parked cars.

These cars, which often have no plates and no registration, are left parked on the streets for long periods of time with no one coming to claim the vehicles.

Working with the 115th and 110th precincts, cars that have been parker longer than three days may face being towed.

“Every time a car is illegally parked for days at a time, it not only takes away parking from the numerous residents living within my district, but it also affects the local economy by taking up spaces that are used to serve small businesses,” said Ferreras.

According to the Councilmember’s office, the 115th Precinct conducted a tow/enforcement operation on Monday, March 12 near 103rd Street and 37th Avenue in Corona. During the operation, a total of four vehicles were impounded, each having a “for sale” marking and noted to have been parked for an extended period of time.

 

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Op-Ed: A new alliance for Flushing Meadows-Corona Park


| editorial@queenscourier.com

BY COUNCILMEMBER JULISSA FERRERAS

With public review of the National Tennis Center’s proposed expansion in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (FMCP) well under way, it is time to set our sights on the future of what is the largest and most important open space for the residents of Queens.

Having spent my whole life in and around FMCP, I can attest to the fact that it has not received the attention and resources a park of its size and high utilization deserves.

Although I am sensitive to the budgetary and staffing constraints the Parks Department faces, it must be pointed out that unlike most communities in the city, we in Queens have private entities that greatly benefit from our public space.

After engaging in numerous conversations with the park’s stakeholders, I have come to the conclusion that we must establish a new nonprofit alliance dedicated to FMCP.  I see this as the best way to ensure the community has the quality park it deserves for future generations to enjoy.

Despite hosting upwards of 20,000 people from organized soccer leagues every week, our beloved park only has a quarter of the staff of Prospect Park, though it is more than double in size.

Additionally, Central Park, which is smaller than FMCP, has nearly eight times as many workers.

Our parkland is precious. FMCP is the Central Park of Queens.  It is the heart and lungs of our community.

If a public-private partnership akin to the Prospect Park Alliance and the Central Park Conservancy were to be created, FMCP would be better positioned to attract new revenue streams and incorporate direct community input.

The FMCP alliance board, which will be comprised of a healthy mix of local residents and representatives from the corporations inhabiting the park, will be able to work with the Parks Department in determining how private funds would be best spent for the benefit of the community.

In the immediate term, the alliance would provide a vehicle to which corporate entities operating in and benefiting from the park, such as the USTA and the Mets, could commit financial support for the ongoing care of the park, augmenting the Parks Department’s budget.

My vision for the alliance is to allow its members to represent the voice of our community and be a part of the park’s governance. I look forward to achieving a healthy collaborative effort wherein the alliance can receive funds from private sources to increase FMCP’s dedicated staff and resources it so desperately needs.

Every stakeholder I have spoken to – from the organizations who want to build in the park and local business owners to the soccer leagues and park advocacy groups – agrees that FMCP needs a new alliance, and it needs it now.

As this community is being asked to consider three major development projects in and next to FMCP, we ask the Parks Department and the City to look at these three projects holistically, consider their cumulative impact on the park, and commit to creating an alliance that will help protect this irreplaceable park.

Councilmember Julissa Ferreras represents the 21st Council District encompassing Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, Corona and Jackson Heights. She is the chair of the Women’s Issues Committee and is a member of the Committees on Parks and Recreation, Civil Rights, Consumer Affairs, Economic Development, Finance and Health.

 

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New schools to ease overcrowding in western Queens


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of SCA

Two new schools will help alleviate overcrowding in Jackson Heights and Corona in the next two years, according to the School Construction Authority (SCA).

The first school, P.S. 287, is scheduled to debut this September at 110-08 Northern Boulevard in Corona. Located in District 24, the four-story building will serve pre-K through fifth grade and have a 420 student capacity, said the SCA.

I.S. 297 will be completed by September 2014 at 33-55 74th Street in Jackson Heights as part of District 30. The school is expected to have four floors, serve sixth through eighth grade and have a 400 student capacity.

“These two new schools, together with the ground we broke on the addition to P.S. 70, will go a long way towards easing overcrowding in western Queens schools. But, there is still more work to be done,” said Councilmember Peter F. Vallone Jr.

District 30 has been in need of more schools to keep up with a growing population, school leaders said.

“The more crowded it is, the harder it is to get things done, even with parents picking their kids up,” said Isaac Carmignani, co-president of the District 30 Community Education Council. “Anytime we get seats, anytime we get schools, it’s good for us. We’re grateful for anything that we are given.”

Overcrowding has also been a problem in District 24 as school construction failed to keep up with the growing population of families, especially new immigrants looking to make the neighborhoods in the district their home, according to InsideSchools.org.

“I have been in constant contact with the Department of Education to ensure that a comprehensive plan is established to address the overcrowding in my district,” said Councilmember Julissa Ferreras.

Last March, the department announced it would add 6,000 new school seats over the next two years in order to ease overcrowding in the borough.

According to the SCA, along with the brand-new school buildings, P.S. 287 will have two playgrounds at the back of the school. I.S. 297’s playground will be located on land purchased by the city across the street from the school.

 

I.S. 297 rendering 

 

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Still divided over paid sick days act


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Christopher Brito

When Celina Alvarez began to suffer from a serious heart problem that caused her to faint at work in February, she needed to see a doctor.

She resisted, however, because she had no paid sick days from her job as a chef at Taqueria La Casa Del Idolo, a Mexican taco restaurant in Elmhurst. The immigrant and mother couldn’t afford lose her income.

After suffering pain for nearly a week she gave in and went to the hospital, but two weeks later when Alvarez returned to work she was no longer employed.

“I was a loyal and dedicated employee,” Alvarez said. “The hospital stay saved my life, but cost me my job.”

Alvarez, 48, and workers in similar situations are at the forefront of fighting for legislation to get paid sick days from employers.

In the latest battle, Councilmember Julissa Ferreras, advocates and low–wage workers joined Alvarez in front of the restaurant to rally support for a long-running bill that would require city employers give their staff paid sick leave time.

More than a million New York workers lack paid sick days, with many concentrated in food service, retail and health care, according to the NYC Paid Sick Days Campaign.

Originally introduced in 2009 by a Manhattan councilmember, the updated Paid Sick Days Act would require businesses with more than 20 employees give their staff nine paid sick days; companies with five to 20 workers would be required to grant five days annually. Small “mom and pop” businesses would only need to provide five unpaid, but job-protected, sick days.

Although the bill has 37 co-sponsors, Council Speaker Christine Quinn is against it, because of the status of the economy.

“This issue of paid sick leave, it’s a laudable goal,” Quinn said. “But in this economy if we do it right now in the way envisioned in the bill we’re going to put people out of business and we are going to lose jobs. This is not the right time to do it.”

Local store owners are also saying that while the bill may help workers, it would hurt businesses even more, because they can’t afford it.

“Employers here are competing for workers and tend to offer the very best salaries and benefits they can afford,” the Queens Chamber of Commerce said in a letter asking Quinn to oppose the bill. “Most NYC employers offer paid sick leave. Those that do not are concentrated in certain sectors that tend to have low profit margins and must hire replacement workers to cover absentees.”

But still, most say it’s the right thing to do.

“Nobody plans on getting sick,” said Amalia Cisneros, the owner of Centro Naturista Amalias, a small business in Elmhurst. “I always prefer to give my employees time to rest so they have energy to do their job well. This should be the law. It would help to prevent illness and our health comes first.”

The owner of Taqueria El Idolo was unavailable during the rally and repeated phone calls to the restaurant for comment went unanswered as of press time.

Campaign cash filling coffers


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

If forced to go to “war,” Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. would have the funds to flaunt the biggest arsenal in Queens.
According to recent filings with the city’s Campaign Finance Board, Vallone has a current balance of more than $850,000 — after receiving contributions totaling $1,049,819 — placing him first among the council’s Queens delegation.

“I’m really humbled by the amount of borough-wide support I have,” said the councilmember. “As you can see by the numbers of other elected officials, raising money is very difficult to do. To have this kind of support is really humbling.”

Despite Vallone’s affection for his city council position, he admits he has grander aspirations.

“I would love to stay as a councilmember,” he said. “It is a gratifying position, and it is the closest position to the people. But with term limits, if I want to stay in public service, I have to look at other positions. I am taking a serious look at borough president in two years.”
Councilmembers Elizabeth Crowley and Mark Weprin are a distant second and third on the list, with balances of $92,114 and $90,627 respectively.
Crowley, like Vallone and numerous other Queens politicians, filed in the “undeclared” category, allowing for fundraising for city-wide and borough-wide offices, as well as re-election to their council seats.

“I take my responsibility to serve my constituents and the City of New York in the council very seriously, and my recent filing shows I have strong support within the community to continue my work,” Crowley said. “I look forward to years of continuing this service and am optimistic about the future.”
Weprin, who is rumored to be interested in the Council Speaker spot once Christine Quinn’s term has ended, says he has raised most of his money in the past six months.
“I’m running for re-election in 2013, so I’m raising money to make sure I am fully prepared to run,” Weprin said. “I’m enjoying my time in the council, and I hope my constituents think I have been doing a good job. I am just trying to prepare early because I believe it is good to be armed from early on. It is way too early to discuss leadership in the City Council. First I have to be re-elected.”

 

District 26 Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer is fourth, raising $70,230 and spending $39,279.

Despite filing under the “undeclared category,” Van Bramer says he plans to run only for re-election of his council seat.
“I am really grateful for all of the support that I have been shown by people who believe in the work that I am doing,” he said. “I have heard my name bandied about for other things, and I find that flattering. But I really love my job, and I fully expect to continue doing that. For me, [filing under “undeclared”] is meaningless.”
Councilmember Dan Halloran ranks seventh – behind Councilmembers Daniel Dromm and Julissa Ferreras – with a remainder of $6,463.

Halloran also filed “undeclared,” fueling speculation that he may have plans to make a run at Senator Tony Avella’s seat.

Former chair and district manager of Community Board 4, Richard Italiano, dies


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Richard Italiano, former chair and district manager of Community Board 4, passed away last week.

“Mr. Italiano’s passing leaves a great void in the heart of our community,” said Councilmember Julissa Ferreras. “He was a dedicated public servant who worked diligently and tirelessly in the community; this was truly his life work.”

“For decades, he served Queens with the utmost concern and passion, and with the belief that working together would always be the way to improve our community,” she continued. “To me, Richard was a close ally, friend, and constant advisor. Richard’s work will not go unrecognized and will live on in the work we all continue to do on matters in the neighborhoods close to his heart.”

Arrangements were handled by the Guida Funeral Home in Corona; funeral was held at St. Leo Parish.

“A tireless servant of our community, Richard was open and accessible,” said Senator Jose Peralta. “His spirit, leadership and friendship will be sorely missed.  I extend my heartfelt condolences to his loved ones and the many people whose lives he touched.”

Ground broken at Willets Point


| brennison@queenscourier.com

WilletsPt-20w

After years of planning, protests and public hearings, ground was broken at Willets Point — marking the first physical step in the area’s redevelopment.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg was joined at the Thursday, December 1 ground breaking by New York City Economic Development President Seth W. Pinsky, New York City Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, Councilmembers Julissa Ferreras and Karen Koslowitz, Borough President Helen Marshall and State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky.

“The development of Willets Point and the benefits that it will provide for the entire city cannot become realities without a multimillion dollar investment in infrastructure improvements that have been needed for many years,” said Marshall.  “Expanding the city’s sewer network and increasing storm water drainage in the area will address longstanding issues and put new development on a firm foundation for the future.”

The infrastructure work is estimated to cost $50 million and will include construction of a sanitary sewer main and reconstruction of a storm sewer and outfall. This phase should be completed in 2013.  The construction will mostly occur between October and March, so as not to interfere during the baseball season with Citi Field which sits next door to Willets Point.

Bloomberg called Willets Point “New York City’s next great neighborhood.”

A plan for the redevelopment of Willets Point was announced by Bloomberg in 2007.  Since that time, the city has been able to acquire nearly 90 percent of the land.  Nine private property owners remain in the projects Phase 1 area, according to the city.

The plan for Phase 1 includes up to 680,000 square feet of retail, up to 400 units of housing — 35 percent of which will be affordable — a hotel, two acres of open space and parking.

Effort to keep Roosevelt Avenue clean


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Councilmember Julissa Ferreras Councilmember Julissa Ferreras, Department of Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty, Douglas Marsiglia, chief of cleaning operations, Assemblymember Francisco Moya and Senator Jose Peralta (left to right) stand around one of the 14 new litter baskets placed along the Roosevelt Avenue business corridor.

Councilmember Julissa Ferreras is trashing old garbage pails that permitted refuse to overflow onto the sidewalks of Roosevelt Avenue.

The councilmember joined New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Comissioner John Doherty on October 18 to announce the installation of 14 new, high-end litter baskets along the Roosevelt Avenue business corridor.

“Today’s announcement is just the beginning of a much larger plan for improving the Roosevelt Avenue business corridor,” said Ferreras. “The new litter baskets have a larger capacity to better meet the demand of this high traffic area.”

The councilmember, who is sponsoring the trash receptacles, is also funding extra basket collection service along the avenue, in the hopes of quelling the garbage problem faced by members of the community.

“I want to see a thriving Roosevelt Avenue,” Ferreras said. “Creating a cleaner, safer place is a top priority for us. These high-end litter baskets will help keep overflowing trash off the street and help create a better environment for the residents and businesses alike, as we work to make Roosevelt Avenue a safer, cleaner destination for all.”

The larger baskets will be placed along Roosevelt Avenue on the corners of 82nd Street, 90th Street, Junction Boulevard, 103rd Street and 111th Street.

The extra collection service, which began in July, increased pickups from every other Sunday to every Sunday.

“By funding these initiatives, Councilmember Ferreras provides a great example of how elected officials and residents, working together with the Sanitation Department, can make a real difference in helping to keep their communities clean,” said Doherty.

Photo Courtesy of Councilmember Julissa Ferreras:

Councilmember Julissa Ferreras, Department of Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty, Douglas Marsiglia, chief of cleaning operations, Assemblymember Francisco Moya and Senator Jose Peralta (left to right) stand around one of the 14 new litter baskets placed along the Roosevelt Avenue business corridor.