Today’s news:

Parched malls in need of irrigation

The grassy malls running through Victorian Flatbush are 100 years old and boy, are they parched.

This week, Joel Berson, of the Fiske Terrace Association, appealed directlyto Community Board 14 for help obtaining funding that could be used to install a new sprinkler system or other type of irrigation system.

The malls extend down the center of Albemarle Road from Coney Island Avenue to Buckingham Road, and continue around the corner one block north on Buckingham Road.

They were established in the early 1900s by private developers who were interested in ways of making the neighborhood more attractive to buyers.

Berson complained that the lack of an available water source has made maintaining the malls difficult.

Periodic droughts have hit the malls hard in the past, according to Berson, threatening to destroy the neighborhood’s “bucolic sense.”

“We’d like these 100-year-old malls to continue,” Berson said.

Community Board 14, doesn’t have the money to distribute. Like every other community board in the borough, they are struggling just to maintain their own operating budgets.

But they can petition the mayor, City Council and City Planning Commission to allocate funding through the City’s Capital Budget or Community Development Program.

This year, funding for the Lowe’s Kings Theatre site, the Academy Building at Erasmus Hall High School, Kolbert Park playground and new catch basins, rank high on Community Board 14’s Fiscal Year 2011 Budget priorities.

Other important funding endeavors include expanded family day care and meals on wheels programs, as well as funding for cultural programs and pest control.

Without objection, the board also voted to include money for the Victorian Flatbush Malls as well.

The New York City Department of Transportation owns the malls, but the Parks Department is responsible for their planting design and maintenance. 

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