How Will Greenpoint Spend $19.5 Million?

03/20/2012 10:37 AM |

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Thanks to a 2010 settlement with Exxon-Mobil, Greenpoint has $19.5 million to spend on parks and environmental improvement. Tomorrow, a community meeting will offer residents the chance to discuss possible ways to spend it. Though authority ultimately lies with the state, organizers say this is a chance to “participate in a collaborative process to assist New York… in directing the [money] toward the community’s environmental priorities.” Have an idea for improving air quality? Or a design for a kick-ass new park? Head to Warsaw tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m.

At the time of the settlement, the Times called it “the largest single payment for such a purpose in New York State history,” though critics point out the sum is paltry as a percentage of Exxon’s annual profits, and that the company is the chief polluter responsible for the mess in Newtown Creek and underneath Greenpoint—one of the biggest oil spills in American history. Still, it’ll be nice to have new parks and all, right?

Greenpoint went through a similar process about a year and a half ago, when a state settlement with the city left $7 million to spend on Newtown renewal projects. We argued and arm wrestled about it for months, after which a new boathouse was finally approved. Who knows what this settlement will bring!

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