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In an attempt to raise revenue, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed bringing county fairs to the city and suggested Flushing Meadows Corona Park as one possible location.
While he has not released any details of the plan, Bloombergs proposed budget includes holding three county fairs during the next fiscal year, and Flushing Meadows was named as a potential host of one of the fairs.
The mayor also hopes to get some money from Shea Stadium
So far, many in Queens are intrigued by the idea of bringing cows and pigs to the boroughs largest park.
I think it will be great, said Estelle Cooper, the Parks Department manager of Flushing Meadows. I love the idea. Its something different that we havent done.
Cooper said she was awaiting a more in-depth proposal from the mayor.
As long as it doesnt destroy my park, I have no objections, she said.
The newly formed Flushing Meadows Corona Park Conservancy plans to discuss the possibility at an upcoming meeting.
Patricia Dolan, co-chair of the conservancy, said Flushing Meadows has a history of interesting events.
There are a lot of festivals that take place in the park, and its a proven location where a lot of these events have success, she said.
Flushing Meadows is already a destination for numerous festivals during the warmer months. The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival and the Cinco de Mayo celebration are among some of the larger events held in the park.
The fairs are expected to generate about $750,000 in revenue.
The city is also hoping to collect $2,380,000 in revenue from a party located just north of Flushing Meadows, the New York Mets.
The team is in debt to the city by $3,381,816 as a result of under-reporting its revenue and overstating its deductions, according to an audit by City Comptroller William Thompson, Jr.
Since the city Parks Department owns Shea Stadium, the Mets rent the facility from the city based on a 20-year agreement dating back to 1985.
Under the deal, the team is supposed to give the city an annual percentage or revenues from admissions, concessions, wait service, stadium advertising, parking and cable television receipts.
In his audit, Thompson alleged that the Mets misstated their earnings and therefore owe the city funds, a charge the team denies.
Bloomberg hopes discussions between the team and the city could generate a settlement between the parties which leads to a majority of the disputed $3.38 million in the citys hands.
Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718 229-0300, Ext. 141.
©2003 Community Newspaper Group
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