Over $20 Million Coming to Northeast Queen’s Schools, Parks, Libraries and Non-profits
City Hall – On Thursday, the New York City Council passed a budget of $89.2 billion for fiscal year 2019. For a fifth straight year, Council Member Vallone has continued breaking funding records, securing nearly $6 million for the residents of Northeast Queens for much needed capital and expense projects throughout the community. By working with City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and the Council Members of the Queens Delegation, over $14 million in additional funding was allocated to Council Member Vallone’s district, bringing the total amount to over $20 million. Throughout Council Member Vallone’s first five years, his district has received nearly $85 million in funding, a number that nearly eclipses two decades of city budgets before him.
A very proud Council Member Vallone stated, “Each year we have proudly reached new records and milestones for Northeast Queens. Standing with our Speaker and Borough President, we have once again invested in the future of our children, schools, parks, and libraries. You can’t hide what you’re passionate about and defending our quality of life and safety while making sure our children, families, teachers and Principals have every resource they need, have always been my top priorities.”
In total, Council Member Vallone has secured over $8.2 million for his district’s schools and nearly $6 million for parks. Once again every school within the district will receive at least $50,000, with many schools receiving additional capital funding for critical upgrades. Some of these projects include $1.9 million for Bayside High School’s musical performance space, $750,000 for P.S. 32’s Gymnasium, $400,000 for P.S. 41’s playground, and over $1 million for security camera systems at P.S. 184, P.S. 209 and World Journalism High School. This year’s budget victory follows on the heels of the the most successful Participatory Budgeting cycle yet, with over 8000 votes cast throughout the district.
Council Member Vallone’s budget also provides significant upgrades to our parks with $1 million going to Bowne Park, $595,000 going to MacNeil Park to fund the construction of granite steps and pathways to the shoreline, and nearly $400,000 for the land acquisition of an important parcel in Udalls Cove. “One of the most exciting announcements to come will be the creation of a brand new community sports complex in Bay Terrace,” said Council Member Vallone. “By partnering with the Samuel Field Y, the Borough President and our Speaker, Samuel Field Y will be able to permanently enclose the existing tennis bubble in Bay Terrace as they expand into a full service community center. I look forward to announcing further details about this project shortly.”
Additionally, Council Member Vallone has secured over $1 million to support non-profits in his district such as the New York Junior Tennis League, The Bayside Village BID, the Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Community Center, the Bayside Historical Society, the Alley Pond Environmental Center, the Douglaston LDC, Poppenhusen Institute, and the HANAC Angelo Petromelis Senior Center.
Council Member Vallone’s advocacy also led to increases for many Council Initiatives which provide additional funding for programs and services in Northeast Queens. The overwhelming success of his “Support our Seniors” initiative has led to a 33% increase in its funding. Now, each Council Member will receive an additional $80,000 to directly fund organizations that provide quality senior services within their districts. Council Member Vallone will use this initiative to refund the free senior transportation program through Selfhelp Community Services which has provided a desperately needed alternative transportation option for medical visits to hundreds of seniors.
Also increased were the Cultural After-School Adventure (CASA), which provides cultural programs for students and SU-CASA which provides the same for senior centers. These increases will allow Council Member Vallone to bring these programs to more schools and senior centers than ever before. The NYC Cleanup Initiative was also increased which will allow Council Member Vallone and the Wildcat Service Corporation to provide additional routes and times for street cleaning and graffiti removal throughout busy commercial corridors in Northeast Queens. Finally, the CUNY Merit-Based Scholarship was renamed to the Peter F. Vallone Academic Scholarship and restored to $15 million in funding to provide scholarships to NYC students attending a CUNY school who maintain a B+ average. “Four years ago, I stood with my family and our former Speaker on City Hall’s steps as we announced the return of CUNY merit based scholarships. Now, the City Council has honored the man who created the program by restoring its original name,” said Council Member Vallone. “Thank you on behalf of our family as we continue to issue a challenge to every student; if you make the commitment to be the best student you can be, then we will stand with you as we open the doors to a college education together.”
“With this year’s budget victories and allocation of over $20 million to our district, our communities can continue to stand tall knowing that their priorities are finally being met by the City,” said Council Member Vallone. “In two weeks, the fireworks at the Independence Day Celebration at Fort Totten will be a clear signal to the rest of the City of how far our district has come and of its equally bright future.”