RED HOOK — If you had $2 million to spend on Red Hook’s public parks, what would you do with it?
Community members have a chance to suggest capital projects ideas for the neighborhood’s green spaces and decide how they'd like to see those funds used, according to Councilman Carlos Menchaca’s office.
Last October, Menchaca flushed a plan to build a $2.4 million bathroom in Louis Valentino Jr. Park after locals said the comfort station would be too big and expensive.
The money left over from the project — a little more than $2 million after some funds were used for the building’s design — remains designated for a Red Hook park project, Menchaca’s office said.
Since June, locals have been submitting ideas for local parks in a process similar to participatory budgeting, which Menchaca is a big proponent of.
Some of the proposals have already been deemed feasible by the city’s Parks Department.
Those include a $3 million plan to refurbish the showers and toilets at the Red Hook Recreation Center, an astro turf, skate park and adult fitness area at Harold L. Ickes Park for $2.5 to $3 million and a proposal to resurface the southern end of Coffey Park for $1.2 million, according to Menchaca's office.
While some of the proposals are estimated to cost more than $2 million, a representative for the councilman said they were exploring other avenues for additional funds.
An online form can be used to send ideas to the councilman. Physical forms are also being circulated around the neighborhood with help from the Red Hook Initiative.
“The process of re-allocating the Parks Department dollars in Red Hook is in full swing," Menchaca said in a statement.
"With the help of the Parks Department’s borough office, we have gathered a number of potential ideas for projects, and will continue to offer space for more ideas moving forward," the statement says. "We are committed to allocating these dollars in a way that represents the needs and interests of Red Hook residents."
The deadline for submitting ideas is Aug. 3. After that, the Parks Department will go through the suggestions and determine which ones are practical and achievable.
Once the projects are listed, there will likely be a small-scale voting forum to choose the winning idea.
No dates have been determined for when the project's design and construction will begin.