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School Library, Park Picnic Tables and Emergency Vehicle Win Funds on UWS

By Emily Frost | April 21, 2016 11:52am
 Five projects will be funded as a result of the participatory budgeting process. 
2016 UWS Participatory Budgeting Winners
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UPPER WEST SIDE — Projects ranging from building a new library at an elementary school to installing picnic tables in Riverside Park will receive city funding under a process that lets residents choose where the money should go. 

City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal launched her second participatory budgeting process this spring, allowing residents a chance to nominate and then vote for local projects they think needed funding. 

As a result, $1 million in council funds will go to five different community projects, Rosenthal announced this week. 

Projects that didn't receive enough votes may get funding anyway, she said, without divulging which ones.

Here are the five 2016 winners out of a total of 14 projects that were nominated:

Library at P.S. 191: $350,000

P.S. 191, the K-8 school on West 61st Street, will use the funds to renovate a lounge space in the school to create a library for families and students. 

The grant is a dream come true, said Kajsa Reaves, the school's PTA president.

"Our principal, Lauren Keville, our PTA executive board and our entire school community would like to thank Council Member Rosenthal for galvanizing disparate community factions in an empowering process that illustrated the civic spirit and generosity of the Lincoln Square community," Reaves said in a statement.

Picnic Tables in Riverside Park: $65,000

Funding will go toward the purchase and installation of picnic tables in a still-undetermined area of Riverside Park. The tables will be secured so they can't be moved, made of recycled material and will be able to withstand inclement weather.

Vehicle for Emergency Response Team: $40,000

The all-volunteer Upper West Side Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) helps the FDNY and NYPD respond during crises like Hurricane Sandy or a severe snowstorm.

Funding will go toward purchasing a van the team can use to store its emergency and educational materials. The UWS CERT will also use the van as a staging ground for emergency preparedness events at street fairs, schools and other gatherings. 

► Technology Upgrades at LaGuardia High School: $150,000

The performing arts high school on Amsterdam Avenue between West 66th and 67th streets will purchase SMART Boards, laptop carts and desktop computers with the funds. 

► Riverside Park Recreation and Activity Area: $250,000

Residents voted for a proposal to create an area geared toward tweens and young adults in the park. The specifics of the plan, including the location, will be determined in collaboration with the Parks Department.

The Parks Department is already installing parkour equipment for tweens and teens in Riverside South as part of a separate project.

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