Extra Budget Funds Will Bring New Trees, Bus Countdown Clocks And More…
By Ilija Sekulovski
This year’s participatory budgeting vote saw Astorians voting for bus countdown clocks, technology upgrades, and additional trees, to name a few.
$1 million was allocated by Councilman Costa Constantinides to six projects that the community voted on. 3,617 residents participated in this years vote, according to the councilman, choosing 19 projects all up.
One of the most popular projects on the list was the tree planting project. 1,471 cast their ballot. The councilman will allocate $36,000 toward the plantings. According to QNS, the Parks Department will be the ones that will choose the location for the trees and street guards.
The bus countdown clocks were also quite a favorite among the community. 1,206 people voted for them. The $250,000 allocated to the project will fund 10 countdown clocks which will provide people with real-time information. Department of Transportation will be choosing the locations for the clocks.
What do you think of the projects?
$250,000 will go toward an accessible entrance for the Queens Library, including automatic sliding doors and improvements to the driveway. Steps will also be removed so that seniors and people with disabilities have easier access to the facility.
District 22 libraries will have computers upgraded. $125,000 is the budget with the votes reaching 1,044. The Steinway Queens Library will also receive solar panels which should help in lowering electricity costs by up to 60 percent.
$60,000 is allocated to the Young Women’s Leadership School. The money will be for a STEM lab which will add laptops and 3-D printers in the school.
$500,000 from Constantinides’s regular discretionary capital budget will go into the installation of lighting at NYCHA Astoria Houses, with 897 votes behind it.
The councilman said in a statement,
“I am proud that we’ve had such enthusiasm for Participatory Budgeting once again this year….Seeing our vote total more than double from last year shows that neighborhood residents care about our public and community spaces.”
In June the budget will be passed. The projects will commence shortly after after which the city agencies in charge of the projects will be reaching out to community members for design and planning inputs.