Gentile secures $4 million for Bath Beach Park repairs
In the last municipal budget he helped put together as a City Council member before he leaves office, Vincent Gentile secured funding for schools, parks and senior citizen programs, according to figures released this week by the lawmaker’s office.
One of the largest chunks of Gentile’s discretionary budget, $4.1 million, will go toward a major renovation project at Bath Beach Park. The monies will be used for a complete renovation of the playground, including the installation of new playground equipment, new safety surfaces, new drainage and water systems, new pavements and sidewalks, landscaping, fencing, spray showers and new benches.
Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) has represented the 43rd Council District since 2003. He is term-limited and must leave office at the end of the year. He is running for Brooklyn district attorney.
His last budget also includes $1 million for the Guild for Exceptional Children, a Bay Ridge-based nonprofit organization that provides housing, education and job training for the developmentally disabled. The funds secured by Gentile will go toward the establishment of Olga’s House, a residence for developmentally disabled adults.
“Since my first day in the City Council some 14 years ago, it has been a true privilege to fight each and every day to improve the lives of the smart, kind and hardworking residents of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Bath Beach,” Gentile told the Brooklyn Eagle via email.
“I am very proud of this budget because whether it’s funding to refurbish our parks, renovate our schools, pave our streets or support our seniors, it will positively impact all the facets of the great 43rd District from Colonial Road to Cropsey Avenue.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Finance Committee Chairperson Julissa Ferreras-Copeland announced an agreement for new city budget for fiscal year 2018 on June 2, marking the earliest budget agreement since 1992.
The $85.2 billion budget includes funding for public schools, youth workforce development, senior citizens and veterans, according to a press release issued by the mayor’s office.
Fiscal year 2018 begins on July 1.
“This budget is aimed at addressing the economic realities of everyday New Yorkers. Life in this city is too hard for too many, but with this budget it is our goal to alleviate some of those pressures,” de Blasio said in a statement.
In addition to overall spending, the budget provides discretionary finds for individual council members to use as they see fit.
Funding for schools in District 20 was a top priority for Gentile, who secured $1.2 million in classroom renovations and upgrades. The lawmaker also pushed for, and got, $180,000 for technology upgrades for local schools and another $50,000 for playground equipment.
Gentile will provide $175,000 for renovations at the Fort Hamilton Library and $164,000 for two new ambulances for Maimonides Medical Center.
Gentile is calling the fiscal 2018 budget to be the “Year of the Senior.” The City Council is pumping $23 million into programs for senior citizens.
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