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Astoria residents have 18 choices as to how to spend $1 million

Proposal includes a dog run

Proposal includes a dog run

March 6, 2015 By Michael Florio

Astoria residents are about to get their say as to how $1 million of public funds should be spent.

Residents will be able to select up to five projects out of 18 proposals put forward– when they are put up for a vote in April.

The vote, which is part of what’s known as the participatory budgeting process, allows residents to determine where $1 million in city funds should be spent.

Residents will be able to cast their votes from April 13th through 19th. The project that receives the most votes will be funded—followed by other popular items- until the $1 million is exhausted.

The cost of each project varies but each one can be no more than $500,000; this ensures that at least two projects will be selected.

“Participatory Budgeting has been rewarding for our entire district,” said Councilman Costa Constantinides, who released a sample ballot for the vote today.

The items that are being put up for a vote include upgrades to public schools; traffic safety items; park improvements; to the creation of a dog run at the Triborough Playground Lot C (see full list below).

The items on the ballot were the result of community input, following four public meetings throughout Astoria and surrounding areas.

A list of 250 ideas was whittled down to 18 by community representatives.

“This entire process has featured ideas generated by members of the community,” Constantinides said. “For the first time, anyone in the district can directly make decisions about how taxpayer money is spent.”

It has not yet been finalized where residents will go to vote.
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Sample Ballot District 22 FINAL-1

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10 Comments

Astorian

This whole “voting” process is a sham. The voting isn’t observed by the board of elections. When the results come in, our spineless Council “leader” will say the people have spoken and obsolve himselve of blame. Meanwhile, projects like the Newtown safety improvements which were promised funding by the DOT and then ignored for years, MIGHT get funded. Costa should be ashamed of himself.

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Longtime Astorian

A place for dogs at Astoria Park has been needed for a lobg time, but I fear the entire park will be overrun by dogs, making it counterintuitive. Sidebar – why is traffic safety on a list like this? Shouldnt that be done period?

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James

These sound very over-priced. $200,000 for a wheelchair ramp? $500,000 for a dog run? $300,000 to pour a little concrete for curb extensions?

No thanks I’m not voting for any of this.

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Brian

Welcome to NYC. Those jobs will go to over priced, well connected contractors and require union employees who will take their time pouring the concrete

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True Astoria

Why is there no ballot for affordable housing? Why must Astoria be invaded for the Progress of The Greedy? Astoria for generations were always about families and helping our neighbors… Since the rich got their paws on Astoria their have been murders, pot smoked as if they were cigarettes in broad daylight and infront of children! We used to have kids play ball in the streets while cars lazily drove home, not this hit n runs of the time is money junk! You knew where your kids was and not out stealing, running up debt on your cards or smoking n drinking! Your greed has turned Astoria into a new age cess pool! Google it! See what your progress and greed has done for Astoria! Just today 3 men stabbed… Why? With money flaunted carelessly comes crime to take up the challenge to take it by whatever means! Let’s face it drugs and alcohol aren’t cheap and those are the only things the rich and crooks agree on! If I’m wrong then why are there Soo many bars and “restaurants” who serve alcohol in Astoria with more on the way? Please turn back time and let Astoria be family oriented again! Let the families afford apartments and houses again! We don’t need more condos, put the dog run on your condo’s rooftops! We need families with morals again to bring back Astoria’s respectability! Affordable housing should be the only ballot for the $1M… After all the tax payers where that money came from is from the hard working families whose homes you’ve stolen not the rich who is subletting a “season” here!

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Community

A dog park is not an essential need in the neighborhood. There are many more deserving projects that need the money. Buy a house with a yard or get a small dog you can keep indoors.

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Dog Owner

A dog park is CRUCIAL to any community, especially in a burgeoning neighborhood that is seeing real expansion, economic development, and an influx of new residents. Dog parks are a safe, contained environment for canines to enjoy healthy exercise, recreation, and socialization, as well as mental stimulation. Dog parks help dogs to burn off energy and diminish anxiety and reactiveness that can come with leash walking. Dogs need to run the same way that children need to play. Plus, dog parks foster a sense of community, responsibility, and general civic duty among dog owners and non dog owners alike. It brings people together, just like any social common denominator. Having a small dog or a house with a yard does not reduce a dog’s need to run and play with other pups and learn and grow from other dog behavior and mannerisms, such as ways to play nicely and how to run with a pack and read behavioral, nonverbal cues. A relaxed, worked out dog is much less destructive both in the home and out in public, and healthy, consistent exercise for a dog promotes a healthy mind, general wellbeing, and confidence in his or her environment and surroundings. While I live in Eastern Queens and would love a dog park that is more of a mid point for ALL Astorians, like Broadway, I feel like a dog park in Jackson Heights and/or Astoria Park is an excellent move toward a more well-rounded community. More and more buildings are becoming dog-friendly, and it’s a huge source of income for freelance dog owners, pet store owners, trainers, and the like. A dog friendly community that embraces dogs as valued four-legged citizens can do a lot to create a safe environment that attracts animal lovers, activists, and admirers.

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Brian

I don’t have a dog but I have no problem turning one of the lots under the Triboro into a dog run, I just can’t understand why it will cost $500,000. That money can benefit more residents if managed properly.

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George

I want the dog run! That stupid thing in Astoria Park on the water is insulting to anyone with a dog.

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