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City needs to invest in West Maspeth

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Two issues of concern are the focus of this letter. The first is the former site of St. Saviour’s Church in West Maspeth. The city Parks Department has identified this area as one that is underserved by parks. Community Board 5 has for the past few years listed a community center as a priority for Maspeth and has mentioned that site as an ideal location for one.

The church was salvaged from ruin last year, but that was winning only half the battle. The property needs to be saved for its historical importance to the Maspeth community, its identified archaeological potential and preservation of open space — something increasingly rare in western Queens. As the city is developing parks for communities in Brooklyn and Long Island City, it should do the same for Maspeth.

The second issue of concern is the city’s plan for Waste Management to truck garbage collected by the city Sanitation Department from the company’s soon-to-be-built private transfer station on Review Avenue to the West Maspeth Rail Yard.

The rail yard is in close proximity to the St. Saviour’s site and dozens of homes. The same rail line, which will be used to transport the waste out of state, runs right past the site of the proposed transfer station. As one local community newspaper noted, “This makes the construction of a spur to the facility for the loading of waste — as opponents of WM’s plan have suggested — appear feasible, if appropriate infrastructure work was done.”

This is the type of project federal stimulus money was meant for. The proposed plan will not only throw taxpayer dollars away, but pollution from the estimated 115 additional truck trips per day will further endanger Maspeth residents’ health.

Christina Wilkinson

Maspeth

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