BY LUIS GRONDA
Ozone Park residents got their say to decide how discretionary funding should be spent in their neighborhood.
The first of Councilman Eric Ulrich’s (R-Ozone Park) participatory budgeting meetings took place Tuesday evening at the Christ Lutheran Church right off of 101st Ave.
The initiative allows residents to vote on potential projects in their community. Ulrich held the project last year in Far Rockaway and has expanded it to the northern part of his district, including Ozone Park, Woodhaven and Richmond Hill.
The small group of Ozone Park residents in attendance split up into two groups and brainstormed what they felt needs improvement in their area.
Among the ideas residents voted on were installing new streetlights along Liberty Avenue from 78th Street to Cross Bay Boulevard, building elevators for the A train stops on 88th and 80th streets, the J train stop on Woodhaven Boulevard; and renovating the 106th and 102nd Precinct headquarters.
Ultimately among the projects that won the vote for each group were; the new street lights, the elevators and a complete renovation for Christ Lutheran Church.
Janice O’Neil, who has lived in Ozone Park for 61 years, said she voted for the improvements to the subway stations because they are needed for residents, including the elderly population, that use public transportation.
“The elevators are good for young people and seniors too. This is a neighborhood that has a lot of seniors and the elevators would be a huge help at the subway station,” she said.
William Ruiz, also an Ozone Park resident, said he voted for building renovations because it is not an area that is reaching its full potential and that could change with some of this money.
“This building is not being utilized the way it should be,” he said, adding he hopes to see after-school programs at the church or see it converted into a senior center.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @luisgronda.