In January we asked the question: What's Going On With Greenpoint's Newtown Creek Boathouse? And while that question remains largely unanswered, waves of controversy have been floating around the internet ever since, starting with speculation that the $3 million that the North Brooklyn Boat Club received in 2011 to build a boathouse and education center were being used for a "transient hotel" at the club's current headquarters at 51 Ash Street, according to Department of Buildings permits. The plans for the building remain unconfirmed, and this month Queens Crap accused the boat club of being a "phony environmental group" that was misusing public funds in various ways, including paying $20,000 for a mural.
No one seems exactly sure what's going on with the boat club, the new facility, or all the money that has been allocated to both, but there's a general feeling amongst locals that something shady is going on — the executive director of NYC Park Advocates called the plans "beyond sketchy," adding that "No money from the city should go for a private hotel." — and the boat club has announced that the Department of Environmental Conservation and the City Park Foundation are hosting a public meeting tomorrow evening, where the people of Greenpoint will get a chance to pose their many questions and concerns to the organizers. Hopefully at least some things get answered.
UPDATE: The boat club reached out to rebut some of the statements made by local bloggers: "NBBC has not received any public money. The $3 million dollars is a grant held and administered by the City Parks Foundation to pay for the construction of the Greenpoint Community Boathouse and Environmental Education Center as determined by public support and a feasibility study. Not a dime of these funds have gone or will go to the boat club [...] We also have no idea who is getting $20,000 for a mural but it is not us. Our funding has come from generous grants from places like the Hudson River Foundation and Citizens Committee for New York City; dues from over 250 members; donations; and events like our Halloween paddle."
Additionally, in response to Queens Crap calling into question the boat club's environmental credentials, the club said, "We do water testing, wildlife monitoring, mycoremediation, balloon mapping, gardening, composting, and are building an Ed Shed with leading local academics to facilitate environmental research by experts and serve as place for teaching environmental education. We have also led hundreds of paddles with certified trip leaders giving many people their first opportunity to explore the waterways which we hope will give people a greater appreciation of the natural environment."
· Haters Gonna Hate: North Brooklyn Boat Club [Greenpointers]
· What's Going On With Greenpoint's Newtown Creek Boathouse? [Curbed]