Brooklyn Boro

BP to fund 11 participatory budgeting projects that didn’t make the cut

May 15, 2019 Meaghan McGoldrick
Owl's Head Park will be getting new trees and tree guards. Eagle file photo

Last month, Brooklynites voted on how their elected officials should spend their money – and now, the borough president is helping fund some of those projects that didn’t quite make the cut.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams announced on Monday the 11 projects he will fund with the $1,115,000 in capital funding he’s allocated towards participatory budgeting.

The projects – the bulk of them parks- and education-related – were runner-ups of participatory budget votes in their respective districts.

School-centric projects to be funded include a creative lab for Williamsburg’s Automotive High School, a science room for P.S. 705 in Crown Heights, playground renovations for P.S. 58 in Carroll Gardens and P.S./I.S. 284 in Brownsville, and auditorium upgrades for Prospect-Lefferts Gardens’ P.S. 92.

Other winners include a play-equipment upgrade at Grove Street Community Garden in Bushwick, upgrades to Harmony Park and the Tompkins Houses Community Center in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a permanent water hookup for Red Hook Community Farm, new trees and tree guards at Owl’s Head Park in Bay Ridge and Real Time Passenger Info countdown clocks in both the 45th and 47th Districts.

“[Participatory budgeting] puts democracy into action by encouraging people to decide directly how the City’s money is spent,” Adams said in a statement. “These projects will have a lasting impact, and it is possible because we were able to empower local communities and give them a voice in an often-opaque process.”

Voting took place between March 30 and April 7 across 11 City Council districts, and was open to anyone over the age of 11, regardless of citizenship, documentation status or involvement with the criminal justice system. According to Adams’ office, tens of thousands of Brooklynites cast ballots.

Every district was allotted an extra $100,000 from the BP, with the exception of the 41st, Councilmember Alicka Ampry-Samuel’s constituency, for which Adams had previously secured an additional $55,000 through what his office called a “first-of-its-kind” state-level participatory budgeting process.

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Adams hopes that even more districts across the borough can have a turn at participatory budgeting in the future.

“I hope we can expand this vital initiative citywide in the coming years,” he said.

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