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Parks Advocate Voices Concerns Over Deal To Build New Stables In Central Park

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- As New York City looks to move forward with building new stables in Central Park for the city's horse-drawn carriages, park advocates say the plan still needs work.

As WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported, the new carriage horse stables would be built with public money in a 160-year-old building currently used as a Parks Department maintenance facility.

"It's hard for me to believe that this is the highest and best use of that property," said Tupper Thomas.

Thomas, the executive director of New Yorkers for Parks, said the proposal raises questions.

Among them: "Using city tax dollars and bond act money to build a new, restored facility for stables for horses for a private enterprise," she said.

Thomas said Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council are moving very quickly on an issue that deserves more time and transparency.

The deal between New York City and the horse-drawn carriage industry would reduce the number of carriages from 180 to 110 by December, prohibit horses from city streets beginning June 1, and permanently move stables to Central Park.

It's unclear whether the deal would include compensation for carriage drivers who lose their jobs.

The plan still needs approval from the City Council.

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