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Vote for Which Upper East Side Projects Should Get $1M in Funding

By Shaye Weaver | March 25, 2016 3:30pm | Updated on March 28, 2016 8:39am
 Vote on how to spend $1 million in city money on a number of community projects, starting March 26.
Vote on how to spend $1 million in city money on a number of community projects, starting March 26.
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UPPER EAST SIDE — Voters will get to decide what community projects will get a share of $1 million city money during this year's participatory budgeting program.

Starting March 26 through April 3, Upper East Side residents in District 5 can vote on which projects to allocate funding to, including a security upgrade for public buildings, new park landscaping, greenhouse rooftops for schools and library improvements.

Last spring, 2,000 residents participated and awarded both P.S. 217 and P.S. 151 with $500,000 each for green roof projects.

Councilman Ben Kallos said he hopes more people can turn out to vote in this year's participatory budgeting.

“New York City has embarrassingly low voter turnout, but residents who engage locally in Participatory Budgeting are more likely to vote in November, which is especially important in a presidential election year,” Kallos said. “Every resident 14 years and older can vote on how to spend $1 million in their community.” 

Here are the 14 projects on this year's ballot:

► $500,000 for the purchase and installation of a security system at the Lexington Houses, between 98th and 99th streets, as safety precautions "in light of growing issues and incidents and the rise in the neighborhood homeless population."

► $700,000 for the renovation of the Lexington Houses' two playgrounds at East 98th St, between Third and Lexington and Lexington and Park avenues. The money would go toward resurfacing and equipment.

► $1 million for new plantings including trees, shrubs, flowers and grass, at the perimeters and entrances to John Jay Park.

► $500,000 for a green rooftop for P.S./I.S. 217 on Roosevelt Island, where students could learn science, math, nutrition and arts.

► $350,000 for an upgrade to Eleanor Roosevelt High School's library at 411 E. 76th St. The library cannot currently support a number of student and technology needs. The funding would allow the school to have access to computers, a listening center, and room for digital and print media as well as quiet and group spaces.

► $250,000 for renovation of Eleanor Roosevelt High School's auditorium, which needs a stage extension, new seating and flooring, a new control board, acoustical panels and a more simplified lighting system.

► $500,000 for a rooftop greenhouse at P.S. 290, 311 E. 82nd St., which would be used to enhance the school's STEAM curriculum and create "desperately needed playspace." The school won $500,000 last spring but since the project will cost more than that amount, it is back on the ballot this year.

► $225,000 to upgrade toilets and sinks at P.S. 290. Unused urinals in the boys bathrooms would also be removed.

► $350,000 for computer carts for 10 schools serving more than 5,000 students collectively. Schools include P.S. 77, P.S. 198, P.S. 290, P.S./I.S. 217, M. 225, Eleanor Roosevelt, Urban Academy, Vanguard, Manhattan International and Life Sciences Secondary School.

► $350,000 for a new split-level air conditioning system for the auditorium and cafeteria at P.S. 198 and P.S. 77 at 1700 Third Ave.

► $85,000 for an upgraded sound system at Julia Richman JREC's auditorium at 317 E. 67th St. The new system would correct the reverberation and the inability to hear and understand speakers.

► $500,000 for automatic doors at The Center in the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House at 343 E. 70th St. Automatic doors would make it easier for seniors to get in and out.

► $600,000 for an upgrade or replacement of an air-conditioning unit at the Webster Library at 1465 York Ave. The library is a city-designated cooling center.

► $600,000 to replace or upgrade the boiler for adequate heating at the 67th Street Library, at 328 E. 67th St.

For a list of polling locations, visit Kallos' website.