July 2, 2014 By Michael Florio
Astoria is going to look a whole lot cleaner as the city has set aside a significant amount of funds to tidy up the commercial areas, add garbage cans and paint over graffiti.
The funds stem largely from Councilman Costa Constantinides’ push to clean up the neighborhood. He has allocated more than $70,000 of city funds toward the Doe Fund, a program where workers are hired to sweep and pick up trash in Astoria’s commercial streets. The allocation will keep the program going until July 2015.
The program, which was introduced to Astoria in April, will continue to ensure that most of Astoria’s commercial districts will be kept clean for at least a year. The workers will sweep and clean 30th Avenue (from Athens Square Park to Steinway Street); Broadway (31st Street to Steinway Street); and 31st Street (Ditmars Blvd to 23rd Ave.).
Constantinides is also using city funds to remove graffiti in Astoria. He has allocated $10,000 to the 114th Civilian Observation Patrol in support of that group’s effort to paint over graffiti.
Furthermore, city funds have been allocated to the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition for the express purpose of graffiti cleanups.
This year Astoria has received additional funds for cleanups through a program called Clean NYC, where each council member was allocated extra funds in this year’s New York City budget to tidy up their respective districts.
Constantinides said he will use some of these additional resources to paint murals over graffiti-covered walls. At the moment, he said, it is unclear which walls in Astoria will receive these murals.
“Hopefully this will all deter graffiti,” said Constantinides.
The councilman said that he also plans to use some of the Clean NYC funds to bring more trash cans to Astoria’s street corners.
Constantinides said he is going to continue his focus on keeping Astoria clean and believes residents will see the difference in the community.