April 26, 2019 By Meghan Sackman
Residents voted to spend $1 million on upgrades to several area schools through a process called participatory budgeting.
Participatory Budgeting allows constituents to vote on how capital dollars should be spent in their district. About 3,000 residents of the 29th Council District–which encompasses Rego Park, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, and Richmond Hill— voted this year.
There were 10 possible projects, of which two were chosen. Voters ages 11 and older were allowed to vote for up to five of those projects from March 30 to April 7.
The most popular item, with 1,601 votes, called for bathroom upgrades at local schools. The city will now spend $600,000 on bathroom renovations at P.S. 51, P.S. 101, P.S. 139, P.S. 175, P.S. 206, and P.S. 220.
Residents also voted, with 1,556 votes, for water fountains–with water bottle fill stations–to be installed at eight district schools. The City will spend $400,000 on the stations that will go up at P.S. 99, P.S. 101, P.S. 139, P.S. 174, P.S. 175, P.S. 206, J.H.S. 157, and J.H.S. 190.
“PB is all about having local communities decide which projects they want to prioritize, as we work toward a more transparent and inclusive city government,” said Council Member Koslowitz in a release.
The winning projects will be funded under the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, which will take effect July 1, 2019.