Residents of three Queens City Council districts will soon have a chance to decide what projects they want funded in their communities.
Launched in 2011 in four Council districts, participatory budgeting allows locals to determine how to spend at least $1 million of their councilmembers’ capital discretionary funds.
This year’s round of projects is up for a vote from March 29 to April 6 in eight districts, including Councilmember Mark Weprin’s District 23, Councilmember Donovan Richards District 31 and Eric Ulrich’s District 32.
The process begins in the fall at public meetings where residents can suggest ideas and choose budget delegates. Those selected volunteers then come up with proposals based on those suggestions, which are presented to the public ahead of the vote.
Last spring, approximately 13,000 people voted, an increase of about 7,000 from the previous year. Each voter can chose up to five projects.
“I am excited to make full use of the Democratic process and offer our district the opportunity to decide where $1 million of my budget should be spent,” said Councilmember Richards, who is participating in the process for the first time. “It’s important that we all understand how our local government can and should improve our communities.”
Among his district’s projects are education, youth, public safety and recreation related improvements. They include upgrades to the Far Rockaway Campus High School, Farm Rockaway and the installation of Argus surveillance cameras in various areas of Far Rockaway.
Residents in Weprin’s district will be able to vote on $1 million in projects ranging from library security upgrades, park improvements, school technology needs and $100,000 in portable security cameras in the community.
Projects in the Rockaway portion of Ulrich’s district include $320,00 in upgrades and improvements to local schools, resurfacing of Broad Channel Park and community information boards in the Rockaways and Broad Channel. The project list for the rest of the councilmember’s district is still being finalized.
For more information on the projects and how to vote, click here.