Nieuw Amersfort Community Association (NACA) President Steve Yamin welcomed back area residents at a packed first general meeting, after an over two-year hiatus, on Tuesday, October 25th in the basement of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at 3913 Avenue J.
After a moment of silence in memory of all those lost to the COVID pandemic and other health reasons, Yamin introduced the new recording secretary and a new corresponding secretary who replaced one who had been with them for 40 years.
He announced that the Church Council asked him to get liability insurance for his meetings. At a cost of $600 annually, it nearly wiped out their treasury balance. He urged members to pay their dues and donate to the church to help cover operating costs for monthly meetings.
A number of concerns were raised by residents regarding trash in and around Amersfort Park, street sweepers who race by without using water, speeding on Avenue I from Troy to Brooklyn Avenues, sinkholes, hydrants blocked by cars and not being ticketed, trees in need of trimming to prevent falling branches and other matters.
One resident asked why other parts of the neighborhood get what they want and why they can’t, referring to repeated attempts to get stop signs, lights and speed bumps to slow speeding and to have sinkholes repaired properly.
“It’s what you do and who you know and that’s what I’m working on,” Yamin said. He talked about Avenue N, from Coney Island Avenue going east. It’s a narrow one-way street and there’s a stop sign on every block. He also mentioned Avenue J on the other side of Flatbush Avenue, where there are lights and stop signs all along the avenue.
“Voting power is important and they know that this area is not that attentive to voting,” he said.
Yamin urged residents to keep calling 311 for their complaints. He said it takes time. “The squeaky wheel gets the oil, so if you have a sinkhole or complaint, keep calling and get a job number.”
Some asked about the new pollinator garden installed at Amersfort Park, located between Avenues I and J, and East 38th and East 39th Streets. Residents were concerned because of its location in an area that was previously enjoyed as a multiuse, flat and open space, and because of the attraction of bees to an area used by children.
Others discussed the need to paint the fence around the park and how those who need to do community service in the District Attorney’s office should be recruited to do the job if the Parks Department doesn’t have the budget or manpower.
According to a New York State Senate document in 2011, NACA was formed in 1989 to represent an area from Flatbush to Troy Avenues and Avenue H to Hubbard Place; it was officially incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in the State of New York in 1993.
The next meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 22nd at 8 p.m. at the same location.