In June,Borough President Donovan Richards created the College Point Task Force to address quality-of-life issues in the neighborhood by facilitating communication between residents and different city agencies.
“Unlike what was happening before, every agency is now at the table,” Richards said last week while meeting with members of the task force. “Since those task force meetings convened, we have begun to see agencies speaking with one another and some of the issues addressed in the community.”
Democratic City Council candidate Tony Avella, who used to represent College Point in both the State Senate and City Council, praised the formation of the task force. He hopes it can help address the deplorable condition of the streets throughout Collee Point.
“It’s like a Third World country,” Avella said. “No other neighborhood in the borough of Queens has streets like this. We need to call attention to it.”
Standing in front of a poorly paved road at the corner of 120th Street and 20th Avenue, Avella explained how the Borough President’s Task Force and other bureaucracy-reducing measures will enable City agencies to address multiple issues within a single project.
“Here is a perfect example,” Avella said while gesturing towards the street. “We needed the sewers done, a project that began the last year I was in the Senate. But when you finish a street, you need to finish it. The agencies should also resurface the street before they move on to the next street and leave.
“If there has to be more money in a sewer contract so that the street can also be resurfaced, that’s a quick fix, we can do that,” he continued. “But the agencies need to change their mindset so they can do that.”
Avella will face off against Republican challenger Vickie Paladino this fall in the general election. Avella used the Task Force as an example of the changes he would bring about in the district if elected thanks to his strong connections in the political world.
“I have a lot of contacts from my time in the council and the senate with agencies and people in politics,” Avella said. “I actually supported the borough president in the special election. I also have a relationship with new mayor Eric Adams. We both served on the state senate.
“We all have the same intention to go back to the local issues, delivery of city services, and making the city agencies more responsive,” he added.
“Forget about the political ideology,” Richards added. “That doesn’t matter and shouldn’t matter when it comes to addressing quality-of-life issues. I think we can all agree that we want clean streets, smooth roads, and infrastructure that works.”