BY JON CRONIN
The Borough Board was disappointed Monday to see that, although a larger borough, the preliminary Queens County budget has decreased for Fiscal Year 2017.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale) was unhappy to hear, “In each and every category, Queens gets less,” she said.
The largest hit Queens took was in funding for schools, which are historically overcrowded. The borough schools are at 109 percent capacity, which is 13 percent higher than the Bronx for example, Queens needs 38,259 seats and was funded for 18,244.
Some of the larger budget cuts are also in the Department of Cultural Affairs, which received a $476,524 decrease in Queens funding. Their biggest hits were a $128,829 decrease at the Queens Botanical Garden and a $100,000 decrease for the Jamaica Center for the Arts and Learning.
The Department of Aging received a $23,263 decrease in funding for Senior Centers and Meals.
In each case, City Council members will advocate to restore funding for those departments.
The preliminary report highlights that Queens, with a population of 2,321,580, has a per capita support of $1.74 and Brooklyn, who has the closest population of 2,621,793 has a per capita budget of $1.93.
Also at Monday’s meeting, the board was briefed on the TWA Flight Center Hotel Project by Manhattan-based MCR Development’s attorney.
MCR Development won the 75 year lease from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to build and operate the hotel, which will break ground next year, create 500 jobs once it is opened and approximately 3,700 construction jobs as part of the restoration and creation of the hotel.
The hotel will feature 505 rooms, 40,000 square feet of conference rooms, restaurants, a spa and a 10,000 square foot observation deck that overlooks the runways. MCR’s attorney said the grand opening will be in 2020.
Morse presented to community boards 10, 12, 13 and 14 in the past couple of months and received unanimous approval from each board.
Reach Reporter Jon Cronin at (718) 357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin