Borough Park residents vote to repave streets
Participatory budgeting draws huge interest
The idea of driving on smooth, pothole-less streets appealed to the residents of the 44th Council District, who voted to make roadway resurfacing the No. 1 item in the 2016 participatory budgeting process.
Councilmember David G. Greenfield, a Democrat who represents the 44th Council District (D-Borough Park-Midwood-Bensonhurst), released the results of the voting in the participatory budgeting process on April 21.
The top four winning projects are:
District-wide street resurfacing by the Department of Transportation ($200,000)
Ambulances for Hatzolah Volunteers ($250,000)
New OHEL Community Center ($500,000)
Beth Jacob Universal Pre-K Rooftop Jungle ($250,000)
More than 2,300 people in Greenfield’s council district took part in the process and voted to pick the projects that they wanted to be funded in the upcoming city budget. Greenfield set aside $1.2 million from his discretionary budget to fund the projects his constituents selected.
Residents attended workshops in the winter and spring where several possible projects were presented to them for their consideration. Greenfield and his staff spent time canvassing all parts of the district, talking with local residents and collecting votes. The voting took place from March 27 to April 3, with voting locations open across the district.
The winning projects will be funded in the new city budget slated for passage by the council before June 30.
“More people cast a ballot in my district this year than ever before,” Greenfield said. “I want to thank everyone who voted and volunteered to make this year’s participatory budgeting process the best year ever. I am thrilled to fund these projects that my constituents have decided are a priority. After all, nobody knows the community better than those who live there”
The winners were chosen from a ballot containing 13 projects suggested by community residents.
In addition to the top four projects, Greenfield said he will also provide $100,000 for NYPD security cameras in Bensonhurst. That project was the first runner-up in the vote.
Participatory budgeting is a council initiative that offers voters a say in how their tax dollars are spent.
This is the fifth year the City Council has conducted participatory budgeting.
As the Brooklyn Eagle reported last month, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has sweetened the pot by allocating $1 million in capital funding to be distributed among the winning projects in the districts of participating Brooklyn councilmembers.
This year, 28 councilmembers citywide are participating. Ten Brooklyn councilmembers are taking part: Greenfield, Carlos Menchaca, Robert Cornegy Jr., Laurie Cumbo, Mathieu Eugene, Brad Lander, Stephen Levin, Antonio Reynoso, Mark Treyger and Jumaane Williams.
“This is my fifth year engaging the community in participatory budgeting. The response has been great,” Greenfield said. “I’m really thrilled that so many people chose to take part this year.”