Tag Archives: participatory budget

Participatory budgeting winners announced in western Queens


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File Photo

The residents of western Queens have spoken and the results are in regarding where they would like to see $1 million spent in each community.

Councilmen Costa Constantinides and Jimmy Van Bramer announced the winning projects of this year’s participatory budgeting process, where residents in each individual district were able to cast their vote on where they want city funding to be spent.

In Constantinides’ District 22, which covers Astoria and parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, 2,204 residents came out to vote last month and three projects were chosen as the winners.

A total of 825 residents voted on the first project that will spend $245,000 in district-wide public school technology upgrades. Through this project, $35,000 will be spent each for P.S. 84, P.S. 122, P.S. 234, I.S. 235, P.S. 17, P.S. 2 and I.S. 141.

The second project, which brought in 773 votes, is $500,000 to go toward turning a lot under the RFK Bridge, located at Hoyt Avenue between 23rd and 24th streets, which is currently empty, into a dog run.

The final project, with 715 votes, will transform I.S. 126’s parking lot in Astoria into a recreational playground for the school and community.

With the third project the total comes out to $1,245,000, so Constantinides plans to allocate more funding from his discretionary budget to fully support the projects.

“The entire process has been community-driven, inclusive, and engaging. I am excited to see the strong voter response that gave everyone a voice in the city budgeting process,” Constantinides said. “The technology upgrades across the district, a new dog run in a neighborhood that currently lacks even one, and a playground [where] students have no official schoolyard will enrich the lives of families and children throughout Astoria.”

Photo via Twitter/@JimmyVanBramer

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer announced the results of this year’s participatory budgeting process for District 26 on Wednesday night at LIC Bar. (Photo via Twitter/@JimmyVanBramer)

In Van Bramer’s District 26, covering Woodside, Sunnyside, LIC and parts of Astoria, the winning projects include a Long Island City Bikeway, a 10-person van for the Jacob Riis Settlement House for seniors and a playground upgrade at Queensbridge.

A total of $500,000 would go toward the Long Island City Bikeway, which would be an improved, safe and reliable bikeway system in the neighborhood. The Jacob Riis Settlement House van is a $55,000 project that would help transport seniors to and from programs. The third project is a $500,000 upgrade at a playground in the Queensbridge housing development that would replace rubber matting in five jungle gym areas.

During the announcement of the winners Wednesday night, Van Bramer also announced that because of the large voter turnout his office would be funding five more projects. These include $50,000 in accessibility improvements each for the Sunnyside and Woodside libraries, $200,000 for the Woodside Reforestry project, $100,000 for district-wide real-time passenger bus countdown clocks and $75,000 in technology upgrades for P.S./I.S. 78 in LIC.

In total, Van Bremer will be dedicating over $1.5 million in funding for projects chosen by the community.

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Halloran district to get funding for all participatory budget items


| mchan@queenscourier.com

The district represented by indicted Councilmember Dan Halloran will receive funding for all seven participatory budget items and then some.

Nearly $3.2 million in capital and expense projects will be honored by the City Council, according to the legislative body’s Queens delegation.

“Northeast Queens is home to many of the borough’s great cultural institutions, not-for-profits and some of the best schools in the entire city,” said Councilmember Leroy Comrie, the deputy majority leader and chair of the delegation.

“I was pleased to have had the opportunity to work with my colleagues in the delegation to ensure residents can continue to thrive, and the funds we provided will make sure the quality of life in these community’s remains strong,” he added.

The Council stripped Halloran of his committee assignments and funding allocations in April when the lawmaker was charged in a conspiracy and bribery scheme.

Power to distribute his district’s funds fell to Speaker Christine Quinn’s office and the borough delegation, which said they would dole out money for 23 community projects. Those include all seven the district voted on during its second annual participatory budget process.

The initiative allows residents to choose at least five physical infrastructure projects they want to see in their neighborhood.

Halloran’s constituents voted to create kayak and canoe launches, restore the Poppenhusen Institute and MacNeil Park, add special needs equipment to local playgrounds, renovate P.S. 98’s art room and secure school smart boards and NYPD security cameras throughout the district.

Comrie said other projects that made the ballot, but not the ultimate cut, will also be funded. These include upgrading the Bayside Historical Society Officers’ Club, improving Fort Totten Park sidewalks and adding a bird watching platform at Osprey Landing.

Educational youth programs like the Alley Pond Environmental Center Inc., health initiatives by Flushing Hospital Medical Center and events by business groups like the Bayside Village Business Improvement District, among many other programs, are also in the budget.

 

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