Strathmore residents in Great Neck express concern about drugs by Eco Park

Strathmore residents in Great Neck express concern about drugs by Eco Park
Mayor Pedram Bral listens as members of the Strathmore Civic Association speak before the board. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

At least seven members of the Strathmore Civic Association expressed concerns about “Eco Park” in the Village of Great Neck at a board meeting on Tuesday night, suggesting it has become a “breeding ground” for illegal activities.

Representatives from the association said the area was now becoming a safety concern. They said they have seen cars speeding into the area, quickly conduct drug deals and then take off. Teenagers then smoke pot in the area, they alleged.

“Lately it has become a breeding ground for teenagers that go back there to smoke pot, where they meet their dealer at night,” Linda Rosen, one of the Strathmore Civic Association members that gathered at the microphone to speak before trustees, said. “We see strange cars parked in front of the EcoPark at night.”

Part of the issue is the lack of lighting in the area, Rosen added, as is the lack of police presence.

“There’s almost no police that patrol our area at night,” Rosen said. “I’ve been living there for four and a half years and I’ve never seen a cop at Strathmore, unless they were called for.”

Among some of the ideas the association proposed were adding lighting to the area and adding signs near the Eco Park pertaining to parking, speeding and littering.

Trustee Barton Sobel expressed interest in setting up a meeting between him, Strathmore Civic Association members, Louis Massaro, the superintendent of the Department of Public Works, and Village Clerk-Treasurer Joe Gill.

Mayor Pedram Bral also said that, at the moment, they were currently getting cost estimates for installing some lights in the area and do what they can.

“Unfortunately, the idea was to make it a beautiful place for the residents and now it has become this disaster, in a way,” Bral said. “We are going to do whatever it is we can.”

Jean Pierce, a Great Neck resident present at the meeting, said that “drugs don’t wait” and urgent action should be taken.

“We do not want drugs in Great Neck,” she said.

In unrelated business, officials passed a local law to make meeting notice provisions uniform, approved a sign application from Metro Floral Designs, heard a proposal for an art center on Middle Neck Road and accepted a proposed address change for a home on Tuddington Road.

Trustees also heard a presentation from younger residents in the village on how they felt the village should develop to keep the next generation in Great Neck.

Among the suggestions were student discounts, affordable stores, more outdoor seating, activity based stores, newer sidewalks, more parking, bike lanes and jobs for younger people.

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