Libraries, Pools and NYCHA Programs Saved in 2014 Budget Deal

By Iris Mansour on June 24, 2013 11:55am 

 Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Council Speaker Chrsitine Quinn announced the new budget June 23, 2013.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Council Speaker Chrsitine Quinn announced the new budget June 23, 2013.
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Flickr/nycmayorsoffice

NEW YORK — Libraries, after-school programs, New York City Housing Authority facilities and public swimming pools were given a last-minute reprieve in the city's 2014 budget.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s final budget, which was finalized in a deal with the City Council Sunday evening, gave the New York City Housing Authority an additional $58 million, which will prevent the closure of NYCHA-run facilities — including senior centers and community programs. The money is meant to offset the impact of a $205.5 million shortfall in the NYCHA’s funding, caused by federal budget cuts. 

"Our administration’s final budget reflects the commitment to sound financial management that has helped keep our city on firm financial footing, and to the services and programs New Yorkers rely on," Bloomberg said in a statement, after announcing the budget deal alongside Council Speaker Christine Quinn at City Hall.

After a campaign to save New York City’s libraries, Bloomberg and the City Council agreed to allocate $106 million to allow all branches to remain open, officials said. The funding will also allow 1,500 library employees to keep their jobs and will support after-school classes and literary programs.

The budget also gave an additional $32 million to the city's public parks and pools, officials said.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Bloomberg allocated $250 million to improve storm protections on the eastern shore of Staten Island and in other low-lying neighborhoods, as well as to ensure city agencies can continue their work during a future hurricane.

While the budget allocated $146 million to early childhood education and after-school programming, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said city officials had missed a chance to restore cuts from previous years.

"This budget was an opportunity to reverse the loss of 30,000 after-school seats cut over the past several years,” de Blasio said in a statement, adding that without asking the wealthiest New Yorkers to pay more in taxes, the budget “affirmed a status quo that continues to leave working families behind.” 

The budget got a boost from the sale of an extra 2,000 taxi medallions, expected to raise about $1.4 billion over the next several years.

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