West Side Rag » Participatory Budget Voting Begins April 2; Finalists and polling stations here

Posted on April 1, 2022 at 5:38 am by West Side Rag

By Molly Sugarman

If you had $1 million to spend improving the Upper West Side, would you upgrade the toilets at Jessie Isadore Straus School ($300,000) or add adult fitness equipment to Riverside Park ($300,000)? $)? You can do both and still have enough money to buy Broadway trees and tree guards ($250,000).

By the way, you have $1 million to spend on these and other projects. It’s called Participatory Budgeting (PB), which means that residents of the district can allocate money to whatever capital projects they want rather than leaving it up to the city council to decide.

If you’re concerned about public safety, you can spend $600,000 on security cameras for Westside Urban Renewal Brownstones and an additional $320,000 on security cameras on Broadway, Amsterdam, Columbus, and Riverside Drive. And you could also add another $72,000 for security cameras at De Hostos homes.

The PB process began in January, when Councilman Gale Brewer issued the call for capital projects costing at least $50,000 and having a lifespan of at least five years. Seventy-one projects were proposed by the inhabitants of the district. Volunteers and city agencies narrowed the list down to nine. Now everyone – ages 11 and up – can vote on which combination of projects they want for that million dollars.

Starting April 2, you can vote in person at any of the multiple polling stations throughout the district. or you can vote online. Do it before April 10, the closing date of the polls.

Here are the nine finalists for the 2022 Participatory Budget, courtesy of CM Gale Brewer. You can choose three.

1. Sarah Anderson School Tech Grant: $117,000
[P.S. 9, grades K-5, 100 W. 84th St.]
Purchase 12 Promethean boards and 30 laptops with 1 laptop cart to ensure each class has a smart board and laptops connected to the smart boards. This project will ensure that the school has technology deployed in classrooms to support an enriched and interactive learning experience.

2. Central Schools Technology Grant: $117,000
[M.S. 243, grades 5-8, 100 W. 84th St.]
Purchase 12 Promethean boards and 30 laptops with 1 laptop cart to ensure each class has a smart board and laptops connected to the smart boards. This project will ensure that the school has technology deployed in classrooms to support an enriched and interactive learning experience.

3. Jessie Isadore Straus School Infrastructure Improvements: $300,000
[P.S. 199, grades K-5, 270 W. 70th St.]
Improve and repair 2 existing student washrooms (replace light fixtures, cubicles, floor/wall tiling, ADA accessibility).

4. Adult Fitness Equipment for Riverside Park: $300,000
Create an area with adult exercise equipment that includes a section for group classes and a cooling misting device.

5. Green Broadway: $250,000
[Trees & Tree Guards for Broadway Above 72nd St.]
Install approximately 35 trees and tree guards on sidewalks along Broadway. This would make the avenue a more attractive destination, be environmentally friendly and provide additional shade.

6. Broadway Bus Countdown: $320,000
[Intersection placement to be determined by DOT.]
Install four bus arrival time countdowns at northbound and southbound multi-route bus stops on Broadway where they intersect with cross-city routes.

7. Security cameras on Broadway, Amsterdam, Columbus and Riverside Drive: $320,000
[Locations determined in consultation with NYPD.]
Install eight security cameras on Broadway, Amsterdam, Columbus and Riverside Drive to deter crime and ensure public safety.

8. Security cameras for Westside Urban Renewal Brownstones: $600,000
[NYCHA, West 90th St.]
Install approximately 15 security cameras at Westside Urban Renewal Brownstones to deter crime and ensure public safety.

9. De Hostos Home Security Cameras: $72,000
[NYCHA, 201 W. 93rd St.]
Install four security cameras on the ground floor of De Hostos homes to deter crime and ensure public safety.

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