May 5, 2015 By Michael Florio
Astoria’s dog lovers are going to get a dog run.
The dog run is part of three new projects that are going to be funded as a result of a districtwide vote where residents were able to cast their ballots to determine how $1 million in city funds should be spent.
Voters had 18 different projects to choose from and were able to cast their ballots in a number of neighborhood locations between April 12 and 19.
The three most popular projects totaled a little over $1 million and will be funded.
Those projects were: public school tech upgrades to be distributed among seven schools ($240,000); a dog run to located under the RFK Bridge at the Tri-borough LOT C ($500,000); and the conversion of IS 126’s parking lot into a playground ($500,000).
While the projects came in at a little over $1 million, Constantinides said that he would find extra funds to ensure that all three capital projects are funded.
He said that it would take some time before the dog run and playground are constructed. For example, he said that there will be public discussion as to how the dog run will be configured in terms of whether to separate big dogs from little dogs.
Constantinides said that 2,200 residents voted, well above the city average last year of 1,700.
‘I am happy the community’s voice is being heard,” Constantinides said at an event held at the Bohemian Beer Garden Tuesday just for volunteers.
The $1 million dollars that was put up for a vote was part of a process called participatory budgeting. The concept provides residents with a direct say on how the money should be spent in the district.
Residents were able to vote for as many as five neighborhood projects—from a list of 18. The projects that received the most votes—up until approximately $1 million is exhausted—will be funded.