By Jonathan Sperling
Residents of Astoria, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Woodside now have the chance to decide how they want to improve their nook of Queens, thanks to the release of District 22’s Participatory Budgeting Ballot.
The ballot allows District 22 residents ages 14 and over to choose from 13 options for how best to spend the $1 million set aside for capital projects in their area.
“I am again happy to set aside these discretionary funds to build projects for the people, by the people,” said District 22 Councilmember Costa Constantinides in a statement. “Participatory Budgeting gives residents a direct say in what their community looks like. I encourage everyone eligible to vote to cast their ballots, whether at one of our poll sites or online.”
This year, residents may choose from the following proposals, which range from public school improvements to renovations at parks and libraries:
Replace the auditorium speaker system at P.S. 122: $300,000
Upgrade to high-speed WiFi at The Young Women’s Leadership School: $250,000
Electrical upgrades for 11 classrooms at P.S. 70: $150,000
Install water bottle refill stations at P.S. 2, 17, 84, 85, 122, 151, 171 and 234: $285,000
Install a new irrigation system, extra plant beds and new outdoor furniture behind the Astoria Houses Community Center: $500,000
Build an ADA-compliant ramp and install a low-energy door for Building 16 of the Astoria Houses: $400,000
Resurface the handball court walls at Woodtree Playground: $500,000
Resurface the handball court walls at Hoyt Playground: $500,000
Install a new picnic grove for Ralph DeMarco Park: $500,000
Put benches and gardens at 21st Street and Hoyt Avenue North: $500,000
Implement Real Time Passenger Information technology on bus arrivals across District 22: $180,000
Additional support for renovations at the Astoria Library: $250,000
Upgrade the HVAC system at the Astoria Library: $250,000
In order to vote, District 22 residents have the option of voting online at pbnyc.org/vote up until April 7, or by going to these poll sites:
March 30, Astoria Library, 14-01 Astoria Blvd., 12-4 p.m.
March 31, Urban Upbound, 4-25 Astoria Blvd., 12-4 p.m.
April 1-April 6, Constantinides’ office, 31-09 Newtown Ave., 209, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
April 2, Bohemian Hall, 29-19 24th Ave, 6-8 p.m.
April 4, Astoria Houses Community Center, 4-05 Astoria Blvd., 6-8 p.m.
April 6, Astoria Library, 14-01 Astoria Blvd., 12-4 p.m.
Last year, more than 3,100 District 22 residents voted on the Participatory Budgeting Ballot, with more than 60 percent of votes cast online. Last year’s ballot saw District 22 residents vote to install $150,000 worth of enhanced lighting around the Astoria Houses Community Center and provide $300,000 for upgrades to the children’s area at the Astoria Library and Steinway Library.