Dec. 4, 2014 By Christian Murray
Astoria residents have put together an extensive list as to how to spend $1 million in city funds on the neighborhood.
Councilman Costa , who is allocated millions of dollars by the city council to fund neighborhood projects each year, has put $1 million in the hands of residents to determine how it should be spent.
Four meetings have been held through Astoria this fall and a total of 200 people have put forward an array of ideas.
This is the first time the public has got to weigh in on how these budget allocations should be spent in the 12th Council district–in a process called participatory budgeting.
“The community has put forward over two hundred ideas and has been very involved,” said. Those involved, he said, “share a love for this neighborhood and want to have more of voice.”
Some of the ideas put forward include:
1) An additional dog run
2) Upgrades to Hallets Cover Playground
3) A pedestrian plaza near the intersection of Newtown Avenue/30th Avenue
4) Technology upgrades at libraries
5) Increased lighting at the Astoria Houses
6) Repairs to the school yard at IS 126
7) A sound barrier by 46th street right off the BQE
8) Charging stations
The 200-plus ideas will be whittled down to about 15. That task will be left to 70 budget delegates in concert with and various city agencies.
The 70 delegates were not elected or appointed; they just put their names forward at one of the four meetings or called the councilman’s office. Those interested in being a delegate should call ’ office.
The delegates’ task is to take the best ideas and transform them into formal proposals by March—based on their cost and popularity. All proposals must cost at least $35,000 and be less than $500,000.
In March, a series of draft proposals will be presented to the community. The delegates will incorporate this feedback before presenting their final proposal.
The community will then have a week to vote on those proposals in April.
Those proposals selected will then become part of the city budget.