Aug. 29, 2019 By Allie Griffin
Council Member Costa Constantinides has pledged $299,000 to keep the streets of Jackson Heights and Astoria clean over the next year, he announced today.
The money will fund a number of organizations that will sweep the sidewalks, empty garbage cans, remove graffiti from walls and enhance natural plantings along the streets.
“Litter and graffiti shouldn’t plague our streets on a daily basis,” Constantinides said. “Thanks to the Cleaner NYC initiative, we’ve been able to bring more cleanup resources to western Queens to keep our streets livable. These investments will continue our mission of keeping our communities clean for all.”
The biggest payout went to the Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (ACE) which got more than $225,000 for sidewalk sweeping throughout Astoria.
“Councilman Constantinides and his team are true community advocates, dedicated to the flourishing of District 22,” said James Martin, Executive Director of ACE. “These allocations for community beautification are significant investments to keep our neighborhoods clean and safe for residents, businesses and visitors.”
ACE is based in western Queens and helps recovering homeless men and women by providing employment and support services. Workers currently sweep parts of 30th Avenue, Ditmars Boulevard, Shore Boulevard, and Hoyt Avenue North and will continue to do so as a result of the funds.
“Through this initiative, the Council Member has also opened up meaningful employment opportunities for men and women who are overcoming histories of homelessness, incarceration and substance use disorder,” Martin said.
Another $35,000 went to the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition for continued neighborhood beautification efforts. It previously beautified 30th Avenue following an 8-month subway shutdown that left surrounding businesses to languish with past funding.
The Queens Economic Development Corporation received $20,000 once again for continued graffiti removal and the Department of Sanitation received another $10,000 for extra garbage pickups near Ditmars Boulevard and 31st Street.
Lastly, Constantinides allocated $9,000-plus to the Jackson Heights Beautification Group to support its work in the area, advocating for a greener, more sustainable and healthier neighborhood for more than 30 years. It organizes gardening events on Saturdays throughout the year to enhance areas surrounding the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.