$35 Million East River Esplanade Investment in Mayor Bill de Blasio's Executive Budget Applauded by Congresswoman Maloney, Speaker Mark-Viverito, Manhattan Borough President Brewer and Council Member KallosSubmitted by Jesse Towsen on Fri, 05/09/2014 - 12:07pm
$35 Million East River Esplanade Investment in Mayor Bill de Blasio's Executive Budget Applauded by Congresswoman Maloney, Speaker Mark-Viverito, Manhattan Borough President Brewer and Council Member Kallos
New York, New York – Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Member Ben Kallos (District Five) and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer today praised Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to invest $35 million in the East River Esplanade, a stretch of public, open space along the East River from 60th to 125th St. in dire need of restoration. The funding in the Mayor's Executive Budget Proposal represents a crucial start to the total of $115 million over ten years needed to repair the seawall to prevent spending $430 million on the repair later, according to the Parks Department. Maloney and Kallos co-chair the East River Esplanade Task Force, a group of community members and elected officials advocating for improvements to the park.
“I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito for making the East Side Esplanade a budget priority. As co-chair of the East River Esplanade Task Force, I have joined the community in strongly advocating for this desperately needed funding. The esplanade has been crumbling for decades, and we couldn’t afford to wait much longer to restore it. For a community starved for open space, this funding is a breath of fresh air. I commend Council Member Kallos for his leadership on this issue, and look forward to continuing to work with the City to revitalize the East Side's waterfront," said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12).
“Restoring and preserving waterfront access on Manhattan’s East River waterfront has long been an issue of great importance to me. My constituents in El Barrio/East Harlem and all New Yorkers will benefit from these improvements. I thank Council Member Kallos and the de Blasio Administration for their commitment to improving the esplanade,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
"The East River deserves the kind of uninterrupted recreational swath that the Hudson River side of Manhattan already enjoys," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "Mayor de Blasio's inclusion of funding for the East River Esplanade is great news for all Manhattanites."
“The East River Esplanade is literally falling into the East River,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “A stitch in time saves nine – and this investment will save millions of dollars. This will spur the revitalization and use of a park that residents have not been able to enjoy for more than a generation. I commend the Mayor and the Speaker of the City Council for a progressive budget that prioritizes infrastructure investments to make for a more resilient, greener New York City.”
The Mayor’s Preliminary Budget, released on February 12 allots $2.5 billion in capital construction for the Parks Department, but does not specify funding for the East River Esplanade. The City Council Preliminary Budget Response, released on April 23rd, requests $115 million in funding for the project. At a Preliminary Budget Hearing on March 27, the Council heard testimony from the Department of Parks and Recreation, where they were questioned on the need to invest in the Esplanade to save money in the long run. The East River Esplanade Task Force has advocated strongly for funding over the years and will continue to push for esplanade improvements.