Tag Archives: monthly meeting

Board discusses convention center, elevator


| dbeltran@queenscourier.com

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.

Community complaints about Racino addressed


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan Patrick Jenkins of Resorts World New York City addressed residents concerns about the Racino.

As the big debut of the city’s first casino rounds the corner, several dozens of nearby homeowners voiced their concerns at the Ozone Park Civic Association’s monthly meeting.

The civic group and more than 50 locals welcomed guest speaker Patrick Jenkins, a representative of Resorts World New York City, on Tuesday, October 18. Jenkins is also the main liaison between the company and the surrounding community.

“It’s been a long year, but it’s been a good year. The first thing I want to do is say thank you to the people who live in the shadow of Aqueduct,” Jenkins said. “You’re right next door, in the backyard and it’s been a great experience working with the community and leaders. We look forward to being a great neighbor.”

Jenkins said there may be “growing pains” in the future, but the key to thwarting potential issues is by keeping communication strong.

The majority of complaints residents made were about parking problems once the Racino opens. Several residents expressed concerns that the neighborhood would turn into a “parking deluxe” for gamers looking to park on residential blocks to save a few bucks — especially after hearing news from Jenkins that there would be a charge for parking.

The amount to be charged is not yet determined, but Jenkins said the “nominal fee” would primarily prevent people from using the parking lot to take the train. He also said — but could not verify yet — that the company may reimburse parkers with player’s cards to be redeemed inside.

“We know this is New York City. People will do whatever to save on a parking fee,” said Betty Braton, chair of Community Board 10. “We’re not going to see the full effects for a while. Let’s see what the patterns are going to be, then we’ll know exactly what we have to address. As problems develop, we will work on them. Just like when a new grocery store opens, we’re going to see the worst of traffic and parking problems.”

Although Jenkins said Resorts World hired 1,150 people since June, several residents complained that after being interviewed several times for jobs, they did not hear back from the company. Some accused Resorts World of not hiring from within the community as was promised.

“I’ve been here since last August and from day one, it’s been stressed by the company that we would hire from within the community,” Jenkins said. “That’s been reiterated and pounded home by every civic leader that we’ve spoken to. It’s something we talk about on a consistent basis, and the company is committed to that. I don’t know the exact statistics, but I do know that a lot of people from the area were hired.”

Jenkins said the company has received more than 40,000 job applications since June. He said they were still in the “arduous” hiring process of going through thousands of applications and said they were “no where near finished.”

The first phase of the Racino will open on October 28. Civic leaders said Jenkins and Resorts World representatives were “extremely responsive and aware” of the community’s concerns.

“This company has got to be one of the best that we’ve worked with. It has been a pleasure working with people who are actually concerned about the community,” Braton said. “Good things come to those who wait. It’s going to be a beautiful addition to our community.”