It is that time of year once again, as Upper East Side residents get to choose how the New York City government spends $1,000,000 of taxpayers funds on projects here in the neighborhood in game show-like fashion.
‘Participatory Budgeting,’ the technical name for it, doesn’t sound all that exciting, but this spring, ten UES projects are competing for big cash they can’t get any other way — and it all depends on your vote. This isn’t American Idol, where your vote is diluted among millions cast — we’re talking about thousands of votes, so yours very much matters.
“Government must ensure that New Yorkers have civic engagement opportunities and have a voice in the budgetary process,” said Council Member Julie Menin, who represents District 5 and will be allocating the funding, “As we approach voting week, filling out a ballot is a great way to be involved with the pulse of the community and determine the best use of city dollars.”
Last fall, Council Member Menin put out a call for entries, ten of which were selected and included in the spring vote process, focusing primarily on Safety, Security and Schools.
ALSO READ | Meet the Latina Moms Teaming Up to Bring the First Licensed Cannabis Dispensary to the Upper East Side
New Trees & Guards, $150,000
The funding allocation would pay for 30 new trees within District 5, as well as tree guards to keep them protected.
Stanley Isaacs Playground Lights, $420,000
The project would include installing new lighting in the Upper East Side playground located on First Avenue between East 95th and 96th Streets.
NYCHA Security Cameras, $500,000
Half a million dollars would fund the installation of 33 new surveillance cameras inside NYCHA’s Holmes Towers on First Avenue between East 92nd and 93rd Streets, giving the development a needed security upgrade on floors where none are present.
“We need all the support from residents and the community for new security cameras at Holmes Towers. Safety is my number one priority,” said Sandra Perez, Holmes Towers Resident Association President, “Adding additional cameras on floors without them is meant to avert the danger before it occurs,”
PS 151 Rooftop Garden, $200,000
Just twenty percent of the available funds would be needed to add a new garden to the rooftop play space at PS 151 Yorkville Community School, located on East 88th Street between First and York Avenues.
PS 527 Rooftop Play Space, $200,000
The rooftop play space at PS 527, located on East 91st Street between First and Second Avenues, would undergo a renovation which would include new built in storage or an interactive play wall with activities
PS 183 Gym Pad Upgrade, $100,000
Under this proposal, 10% of the participatory budgeting funds would be used to acquire new pads for the gymnasium walls at Robert L. Stevenson School, located on East 66th Street between First and York Avenues.
“The PS 183 Gym is a space that is used not only by the 500 students of PS 183, but community and sporting organizations, said Principal Martin Woodard, Principal, “The padding along the gym walls is in much needed repair for the safety of all those who use this beloved community space.”
PS 198 & PS 77 Security System, $450,000
This sizable chunk of change would pay for security cameras within two schools, Isador E. Ida Straus School and the Lower Lab School, co-located at 1700 Third Avenue, between East 95th and 96th Streets on the Upper East Side.
MS 114 Tech Upgrades, $105,232
East Side Middle School, located on East 91st Street near First Avenue, would receive technology upgrades under the proposal, including 96 Macbook Air computers, three Chromebook computers and four laptop carts to store the equipment.
“These computers will help our students develop the skills necessary for real world product design and creation, from ideas to prototypes to marketing,” said Principal David Getz.
ALSO READ | Developer Wants Taxpayers to Subsidize Toxic Lot Clean Up for High-Rise Luxury Building
JREC School Restroom Upgrades, $250,000
A quarter million dollars would go a long way towards restroom renovations at Talent Unlimited High School, part of the Julia Richman Educational Complex on Second Avenue between East 67th and 68th Streets.
PS 217 Restroom Upgrades, $300,000
Located on Roosevelt Island and not the Upper East Side, though still located within Council District 5, this project would include renovations of the restrooms at PS 217 on Main Street.
Voting opens March 25th to District 5 residents who are at least 11 years old and runs through April 2nd. Click here to cast your ballot online or visit one of eight voting locations in person.
Winning projects will be announced in May and will be included in the City’s budget when it is adopted in June.
For updates around the clock, follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook
Suggest a Correction
Copyright 2023 Upper East Site. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, broadcast, or redistributed.