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Have a Say in How To Spend $1M on Uptown and UWS Community Projects

By Carolina Pichardo | March 29, 2017 12:13pm
 Residents from Councilman Mark Levine's District 7 are invited to vote for 11 community-driven projects until April 2.
Residents from Councilman Mark Levine's District 7 are invited to vote for 11 community-driven projects until April 2.
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Jacob Sporn

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Just how much could $1 million do for Washington Heights, Hamilton Heights, Morningside Heights, Manhattan Valley and parts of the Upper West Side?

From March 26 to April 2, residents are invited to vote on how to spend that discretionary funding on 11 projects in Council District 7, as part of the citywide process known as participatory budgeting.

The projects this year range from adding security cameras and lighting upgrades to local nursing homes to playground and cafeteria repairs at local schools and installing bike paths throughout the district.

The community-driven budgeting process “empowers local residents to vote for project proposals developed by community stakeholders," Councilman Mark Levine said in a statement.

“Participatory budgeting engages all New Yorkers in the governing process by giving them the tools to decide what improvements they’d like to see in their neighborhood,” Levine said.

The projects include:

► $500,000 for P.S. 125 Courtyard and Playground Upgrade: The funds will help install a turf play surface on the 425 W. 123rd Street school playground, repair fencing and replace the existing water fountain.

$100,000 for Real-Time Automated Bus Schedules at Four Bus Stops: The bus stops are along Amsterdam Avenue between 116th and 157th streets.

► $950,000 to Illuminate Cherry Walk on Hudson River Greenway: The installation will be along the bike path from 110th to 125th streets on the Henry Hudson Parkway South.

► $500,000 for P.S. 125 Cafeteria Upgrade: The funds will improve the kitchen and increase the speed of service for the three schools within the building at 425 W. 123rd St.

$500,000 for P.S./M.S. 165 Playground Renovation: The renovation includes adding a “rubberized ground surface and asphalt” for a better, safe playground space. The playground is located at 234 W. 109th St.

$300,000 for M.S. 195 Restroom Renovation and Upgrade: The funds will restore four school restrooms inside the Terrence Tolbert Educational Building Complex. The school building serves more than 1,440 students across four schools.

$500,000 for Security Cameras at St. Mary’s Nursing Home: The projects seeks to install security cameras throughout the senior center located at 516 W. 125th St.

$500,000 for Douglass Houses Exterior Lighting and Grounds Work: The funds will provide better lighting along the pathways and public area, as well as renovate the basketball courts and recreational space. The Douglass Houses are located along Amsterdam Avenue between 110th and 104th streets.

$500,000 for Grant Houses Ground & Pavement Repair: The project would repair the grounds and pavement within the housing complex at 3170 Broadway in Harlem.

$500,000 for Manhattanville Housing Outdoor Terrace Lighting: The outdoor terrace lighting will increase security along Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue between 129th and 133rd streets.

$500,000 for Riverstone Senior Center Exterior Lighting Upgrades: The funds will upgrade the lighting along the entry and exit points of the center at 99 Fort Washington Ave. in Washington Heights, as well as the main pathways.

The budgeting voting process last year selected five projects out of 21 submissions, which went over the budget "a tad bit," Levine said, similarly to what occurred the year before. The winners at the time, he added, reflected every geographic area of the district.

Residents must live in the district and be 14 years or older to vote. They can either vote in person at select sites or vote online for the project of their choice until April 2.

For more information on the projects vying for the funding, as well where to vote and other session information, visit the District 7 Participatory Budgeting 2017 website or vote online.