Saturday, May 21, 2011


BP Diaz will host a hearing on June 2nd to solicit public input on access plans

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. joined together with a coalition of elected officials to call for greater public access to the Jerome Park Reservoir. Borough President Diaz also announced that he would host a public hearing in June to solicit greater input from Bronxites on the future of public access to Jerome Park Reservoir.
Standing across from an empty Jerome Park Reservoir are (From left)- Father Gorman, Chariman, CB 12; Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz; Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.; State Senator Gustavo Rivera; Assemblyman Jose Rivera; and Councilman Oliver Koppell. The picture at the bottom shows a one full and beautiful reservoir. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

“This community treasure has been left unused for far too long,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “It is time for the collective voice of the northwest Bronx to be heard, and for the Department of Environmental Protection to develop a plan for real community access to the Jerome Park Reservoir.”

In March, the Department of Environmental Protection released a disappointing report, two years in the making, that calls for a three-day pilot program for pedestrian access to the Jerome Park Reservoir in 2013. Borough President Diaz said that while he understood the security concerns put forward by the DEP regarding public use of the Jerome Park Reservoir, he felt that those concerns could be addressed well enough to allow for greater public access to the reservoir.

To that end, the borough president’s office will host a public hearing to allow Bronxites a chance to voice their own opinions on greater public access to the Jerome Park Reservoir. That hearing will be held on Thursday, June 2, 2011, at Vladeck Hall in the Amalgamated Houses located at 74 Van Cortlandt Park South (on the corner of Hillman Avenue and Van Cortlandt Park South). The hearing will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“I urge everyone who is interested in seeing the Jerome Park Reservoir opened to the public to come to this hearing and make their voice heard. The reservoir was designed, built and opened as a park, and access should be returned to the community,” said Borough President Diaz.

"We are very concerned over the extremely limited proposals for access by the DEP. We need to explore ways in which we can provide substantially more access without sacrificing public safety,” said Council Member G. Oliver Koppell.

“The residents of the northwest Bronx have a right to enjoy the area around the Jerome Park Reservoir in the same way that the residents of Manhattan have the right to enjoy Central Park,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “The Department of Environment Protection and Parks should be held to their commitment to make this area more accessible to Bronxites and should have to address the concerns of the community regarding their most recent plans. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in calling for greater access to the area around the Jerome Park Reservoir as well as greater community involvement in determining the future of one of our community’s most precious resources.”

“The time has come for greater community access to the Jerome Park Reservoir.  We've waited too long.  I grew up across the street from the reservoir.  While I was able to enjoy its beauty by looking outside from my living room window or by standing outside the fence, there is no rational reason why the fences are so far from the water.  We have an incredible resource in the northwest Bronx.  Why is the public denied the ability to enjoy it?  DEP's ridiculous proposal to give the public very limited access for a few days in the year 2013 is an insult to our community.  The time for greater public access to the Jerome Park Reservoir is now!” said Assembly Member Jeff Dinowitz.

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