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Participatory Budgeting Begins

By Ilija Sekulovski

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We’ve been hearing about participatory budgeting for a while now, but it’s finally time to vote. If you haven’t been tuning in, Participatory Budgeting is the city’s allowance of a $1 million budget to go towards anything – the catch is that it’s voted on by neighborhood  residents. Essentially, it’s up to US how that money is spent.
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So, let us break it down for you. We’re part of District 22 -which also includes Long Island City, Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights. Through community meetings, we’ve narrowed it down to 18 projects. When you vote, you can vote for different projects.

 

The projects come under four major categories: public schools; streets, sidewalks and transportation; parks and recreation; and public housing. 

Now, here are the projects:

 

Public Schools

1. I.S. 126 Playground
$500,000

Transformation of I.S. 126’s parking lot into a recreational playground for the school and the entire community. 31-51 21 Street (Astoria)

 

2. P.S. 84 Electrical Upgrades

$100,000

Upgrade the school’s electrical system in order to support existing technology. 22-45 41 Street (Astoria)

 

3. P.S. 84 Cafeteria Upgrade

$150,000

Renovate the school’s cafeteria with new flooring, drop-ceiling, along with cafeteria benches and tables. 22-45 41 Street (Astoria)

 

4. P.S. 122 Cafeteria Soundproofing

$100,000

Soundproof the school’s cafeteria. The school was built nearly a century ago and the cafeteria was not designed to mitigate noise levels. Currently, students complain of headaches. 21-21 Ditmars Boulevard (Astoria)

 

5. P.S. 151 Bathroom Renovations

$300,000

Renovations will update the bathroom’s plumbing system and aesthetics – making the facilities safer and cleaner. 50-05 31 Avenue (Woodside)

 

6. P.S. 2 Wheelchair Ramp Access

$200,000

Build a ramp to allow for wheelchair access into the school – allowing the school to be designated once again as a polling site for voters. 75-10 21 Avenue (East Elmhurst)

 

7. P.S. 2 Music Room

$200,000

Create a music room for students at P.S. 2. This will create a special space for students to receive a music and arts education. 75-10 21 Avenue (East Elmhurst)

 

8. P.S. 166 Rooftop Playground

$100,000

Building a playground on the roof of P.S. 166 to give students a recreational space to play. 33-09 35 Avenue (Long Island City)

 

9. Public School District-wide Tech Upgrade

$245,000

Technology upgrades of $35,000 each for the following schools: P.S. 84, P.S. 122, P.S. 234, I.S. 235, P.S. 17, P.S. 2, and I.S. 141. District-wide (Astoria)

 

10. P.S. 70 Science Lab Upgrade

$500,000

Renovate the science lab facility at P.S. 70. to provide students with the best tools to learn about the sciences. 30-45 42 Street (Astoria)

 

Streets, Sidewalk and Transportation

 

11.  Newtown Plaza

$400,000

This project would begin the process of redesigning the streetscape on Newtown Avenue between 32nd and 33rd Street so that a pedestrian plaza could be constructed at that location. Newtown Ave, b/w32 &33 Sts. (Astoria)

 

12. Redesign 21 Street at Astoria Blvd

$500,000

This project would add curb extensions to the 21st Street/Astoria Boulevard intersection, and shorten the distance that pedestrians need to cross. 21st Street/Astoria Boulevard (Astoria)

 

Parks and Recreation

 

13. Dog Run in Astoria

$500,000

Turn Triborough Lot C under the RFK Bridge in Astoria into a dog run. Hoyt Ave. bet. 23 St. &24 St. (Astoria)

 

14. Fitness Upgrade: Whitey Ford Field

$300,000

Upgrade the fitness equipment, enhancing the public health benefits of the playground. 26 Ave. and 2nd St. (Astoria)

 

15. Play for All: Hallets Cove Playgroud

$375,000

Upgrade playground and install equipment for children with special needs. 30 Ave. and Vernon Blvd. (Astoria)

 

16. Basketball Court: Woodtree Playgroud

$375,000

Upgrade the basketball court at Woodtree Playground, enhancing the fitness benefits of the playground. 20 Ave. bet. 37 St. and 38 St. (Astoria)

 

17.Dog Run in Jackson Heights

 $500,000
Turn the lot on 78 Street into a dog run. 78 St. bet. 25 Ave. and 30 Ave (Jackson Heights

 

Public Housing

 

18. Renovate Astoria Houses Basketball Court

$350.000

Purpose of the project is to renovate the Astoria Houses basketball court so that it is a safe and attractive facility for the community residents. 4-25 Astoria Blvd (Astoria)

 

The voting starts tomorrow, and there are locations throughout the neighborhood. Here’s where you can vote:

 

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