A million dollar decision is in the hands of some Queens residents.
Three City Council districts in the borough have a week, starting April 1, to vote on community projects they want the city to fund.
Part of an initiative called “Participatory Budgeting,” residents are allowed to develop ideas and then choose five physical infrastructure projects they want to see in their neighborhood. The total $10 million budget is composed of discretionary capital public money to be split between eight districts in the city.
“Participatory Budgeting gives the community an unprecedented opportunity to make decisions on how city dollars get spent in our community,” said Councilmember Mark Weprin.
Weprin and Councilmembers Dan Halloran and Eric Ulrich have each allocated $1 million to their respective districts.
Project items to be voted on include upgrading technology at schools and libraries, installing police and security cameras in high crime areas, and upgrading community facilities like the Poppenhusen Institute and Queens County Farm Museum.
Residents in Halloran’s district have proposed adding a dog run canopy and kayak launch at Little Bay Park and a bird watching platform at Parsons Beach.
“These projects are all worthwhile, especially because they came from the people,” Halloran said.
This is the second year of the city’s participatory budgeting.
The process was derailed by Sandy in the 32nd District, according to Councilmember Eric Ulrich’s office, since some ballot items involving the boardwalk and parks have become ineligible after the storm.
A vote was still scheduled for the first week of April as of press time.
Last year, residents in Ulrich’s district voted to build a bandstand space on Shore Front Parkway, install a library vending machine in Breezy Point and upgrade technology at local schools.
For ballots and voting locations in all three Queens districts, visit pbnyc.org.
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