$150K Sea-Themed Statue Gets Nod in Rockaway Participatory Budget
BROAD CHANNEL — A $150,000 sea-themed statue, additional cash for schools and handicap-accessible swing sets are some of the projects that are set to be funded through the City Council's participatory budgeting process.
The voting, which took place in City Councilman Eric Ulrich's district last week, allowed residents to have a say in how a minimum of $1 million should be spent.
Hundreds of residents voted for projects such as $320,000 for upgrades to local schools, including an SAT prep area at Beach Channel High School in Rockaway Park, technology upgrades at P.S. 47 in Broad Channel and landscaping at P.S. 114 in Belle Harbor.
They also voted to allocate $150,000 for ADA-compatible swing sets for children with special needs at parks throughout the district.
Money was set aside to fund the sound system for a yet-to-be-built seaside gazebo that was approved during last year's budget vote. They set aside $200,000 for the audio and electrical equipment.
And a sea-themed statue, which will be designed with community input, was given $150,000. It's not immediately clear where the statue will go.
The remaining money will go toward park improvements and median beautification among other things.
Despite totaling more than the minimum $1 million, all of the winning projects are guaranteed funding, a spokesman for the councilman said.
It's the second year for the constituent-led voting in the 32nd council district, which is represented by Ulrich.
“I am deeply grateful to everyone that contributed to the participatory budget process this year," Ulrich said. "My constituents have proven that they want a say in how their tax dollars are spent."