Northeast Queens saw nearly $23 million in funding with the passing of the fiscal year 2018 budget on June 6, according to Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside).
The council’s budget totaled $85.2 billion.
Between $6 million secured in capital and expense projects and $16.6 million from working with Borough President Melinda Katz, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Bronx) and the Queens delegation, Vallone was able to fund several nonprofits and other community resources.
“Throughout my first four years, I’ve worked hand in hand with my fellow elected officials and have put northeast Queens not just back on the map, but on top of it,” he said. “This year’s budget marks another clear victory for our communities as we continue to invest fully in the future of our children, schools, parks, libraries and nonprofits that call northeast Queens home.”
Northeast Queens’ budget gains include $4.8 million for schools and $11.8 million for parks, with every school in the district receiving at least $50,000, according to Vallone’s office. The park funding is going toward renovations of the Alley Pond Environmental Center—which will receive $8 million for a renovation project and new building—and the Bay Terrace Playground.
More than $1 million will go to nonprofits, such as the Bayside Historical Society, Alley Pond Environmental Center, Douglaston Local Development Corporation, Poppenhusen Institute and HANAC Angelo Petromelis Senior Center. Participatory budgeting also yielded the most votes of any Queens Council district, according to Vallone, with $1.4 million allocated to funding new NYPD security cameras, a technology upgrade for the Whitestone library and new lockers for Bayside High School.
Vallone celebrated the overall budget as a win for seniors—declaring it the “year of the senior.” He pointed to a baseline funding increase of $22.89 million for core senior services and a 50 percent funding increase to the council’s “Support Our Seniors” initiative, which he created. That initiative will give each council member an additional $60,000 to fund senior services. In northeast Queens,
Vallone has also instituted a free senior transportation pilot program.