Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plans to build the country’s largest convention center in Queens overshadowed any previous items on Community Board 10’s agenda.
During the board’s first monthly meeting of the year, officials cited current problems with traffic near the Racino and said it would only get worse without any direct transportation to the proposed convention center.
However, Betty Braton, chair of Community Board 10, said the community has to consider the jobs the site may bring, “especially in this economy.” She added that the community has had “an excellent relationship” so far with Genting America — the company that brought the Resorts World casino to South Ozone Park and will develop the convention center.
“We’re going to continue to listen and talk,” Braton said.
Patrick Jenkins, a representative for Genting, reassured Board members that their input would be taken into consideration. He reminded them of their year-long relationship with Getting and said the Racino was built with public input.
Shortly after, attention turned to the building of an elevator for the disabled at the Lefferts Boulevard train station.
Joseph Raskin, an MTA representative, presented the Board with design plans for the elevator and acknowledged that several stations needed to have work done. Raskin said the MTA will be using federally-mandated money to make any necessary repairs, as well as redesign the platform at Lefferts Boulevard to accommodate the elevator.
Plans for the elevator are already underway, and the MTA is 30 percent done with the design, Raskin said, after he presented the board with a layout of the area where the elevator will be built.
But Board members complained there currently isn’t much space between storefronts and the sidewalk. They said placing an elevator there will limit walking space.
Raskin reassured them by saying the MTA measured the sidewalks adjacent to the station and found only one side had enough space to fit an elevator. While there will be limited space on the sidewalk, he said the MTA can’t change the size of the elevator because it must meet the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.
According to Raskin, the final design will be determined in August, while the contract for the elevator will be awarded in December.