Results Are Tallied For Participatory Budgeting

BY LUIS GRONDA
Staff Writer

The results are in from the participatory budgeting project and five areas within Community Board 9 will get much-needed money.

Councilman Eric Ulrich (R- Ozone Park) announced the participatory budgeting, which allows residents to spend around $1 million of capital funds to improve facilities throughout the community.

This year was the first that residents living within CB9 got to participate, and five projects will be funded through the initiative.

The proposals include: upgrades to multiple schools throughout the district, including new fencing around the school yard at JHS 210 and technology upgrades at PS 273 and PS 60; installing real-time bus countdown clocks at four bus stops within CB9; paving two miles of road along Woodhaven Boulevard; repaving paths adjacent to the Schaffer Memorial in Forest Park; and a full interior renovation to the Richmond Hill Library.

The school upgrades received the most votes and the most money allocated from the pot of money available, $376,000 in total. The upgrades received 137 votes in total. Paving Woodhaven Boulevard and repaving paths in Forest Park will cost $300,000 and $150,000 respectively. With 112 votes, the bus countdown clocks received the second-most votes.

Almost 1,000 residents voted between Ulrich’s two participatory budgeting projects, which included Rockaway for the second consecutive year.

“I am deeply grateful to everyone that contributed to the participatory budget process this year. My constituents have proven that they want a say in how their tax dollars are spent. I look forward to bringing the process back next year and working with my constituent’s to expand their voice in the budget process,” Ulrich said in a statement.

David Adorno, a CB9 member and head of the newly-formed budget committee, said he was elated about the five items that were voted by residents. In particular, the bus countdown clocks were a popular choice among CB9 residents, according to Adorno, and that will be a huge boon to the area.

“I don’t know how many times I’ve been waiting for the Q11 and I don’t see it for miles,” he said. “Real-time bus clocks will make people less anxious and gives them the opportunity to do other things.”

Adorno said the school upgrades are another project he is glad received funding because it will bring needed services and improvements to the children in those school, provided that the School Construction Authority gets the ball rolling on that project.

Four projects that were also on the list did not make the cut-off. And will not get a slice of the participatory budget pie. That includes upgrades to the 102nd Precinct headquarters in Richmond Hill and installing new signage at three hiking trails in Forest Park.

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@queenstribune.com, or @luisgronda.