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Addabbo seeks medians, Forest Park renovations

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Addabbo, chairman of the City Council's Parks Committee, told a Community Board 10 meeting two weeks ago that he wants money to make sure the greenhouse, built in 1905, does not fall further into disrepair following 47 years of neglect. He also said he wants to get funds to incorporate medians in his district into the citywide "Green Streets" program, designed to beautify major thoroughfares.

"The last capital improvements at the greenhouse were in 1957," Addabbo said during an interview. "There has been a deterioration in the greenhouse."

Addabbo said he has consulted with the city Department of Parks and Recreation about the cost and scope of both proposed projects. He said a lack of maintenance and attention at the Forest Park greenhouse means a full-scale renovation would cost about $5 million.

The councilman, who represents the communities of Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Howard Beach, Broad Channel and the western portion of the Rockaway peninsula, said he and other city officials made a visit to the greenhouse and saw workers there wearing hard hats to protect themselves from falling shards of glass. He said original panes of glass are still in place and have become a hazard to people tending to flora and fauna.

"This is what happens when you neglect something for so long," Addabbo said. "If we had done a little bit each year, it would not have cost us $5 million.

"I truly believe - and I saw it firsthand - that the workers there do work in danger."

As for the medians, Addabbo said the city Department of Parks and Recreation is in the process of making site visits and examining possible areas along Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards to see if they can be added into the "Green Streets" program. The department will then come back to him with an estimated cost for beautifying the medians as well as a prioritized list of which spaces should be addressed first, he said.

"This is the first year of what could be many years of incorporating Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards into the Green Streets program."

Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by calling 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

Updated 10:26 am, October 12, 2011
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