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Decide How to Spend $1.5M to Improve Carroll Gardens and Park Slope

By Nikhita Venugopal | September 19, 2016 3:28pm
 A budget delegate discusses a project from the 2014 participatory budgeting expo in Park Slope.
A budget delegate discusses a project from the 2014 participatory budgeting expo in Park Slope.
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DNAinfo/Nikhita Venugopal

BROOKLYN — If you have an idea that would make your neighborhood a better place to live, this is your time to speak up.

Neighborhood residents can share their ideas on how to spend $1.5 million in taxpayer dollars on local improvements this week as City Councilman Brad Lander's participatory budgeting process kicks off in Carroll Gardens.

Residents of District 39, which includes Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Kensington and Gowanus, can attend any of the upcoming "neighborhood assemblies" to learn more about the process and share ideas for projects they'd like to see funded using Lander's discretionary funds. 

Once the ideas are collected, volunteers set about reviewing and vetting each project to determine its feasibility. The final proposals are then presented to the community before being placed on a ballot. Residents 14 and older in District 39 can vote for their favorite projects.

More than 3,000 people voted throughout the district last year on projects that ranged from technology upgrades at local schools to creating safer street intersections in Carroll Gardens.

Now in its sixth year, the participatory budgeting process has helped fund more than a dozen projects, including last year's winner — a "Lake Mess Monster" to help keep Prospect Park's lake clean and scum free — which garnered 1,692 votes. 

A "teen space" at Carroll Gardens Library and mobile artists studios in Gowanus were also approved for funding. 

Here are the upcoming assemblies in Lander's district:

► Monday, Sept. 19, 6:30 p.m., in the Carroll Gardens Library, located at 396 Clinton St. This assembly will focus on arts and education projects. 

► Thursday, Sept. 22, 6:30 p.m., in the Park Slope Library, located at 431 Sixth Ave. This assembly will focus on streets and transit, parks and the environment. 

► Wednesday, Sept. 28, 6:30 p.m., at P.S. 230, located at 1 Albemarle Road.