The big money winners in the participatory budget vote in Council member Julie Menin’s UES district 5 included the $500,000 awarded to NYCHA’s Holmes Towers for a new security camera system and and a $450,000 contract for new lighting in the building shared by PS 198 and PS 77.
And to the delight of roller hockey players, Stanley Isaacs Park on E. 96th St. and First Ave. is getting $420,000 in new lighting which should extend its hours of use.
“We have been trying–unsuccessfully–to upgrade the lighting at Stanley Isaacs Park for the past decade and have met roadblock after roadblock along the way,” noted Tom Smith, Executive Director of the New York Roller Hockey League. “We are thrilled to be part of the Participatory Budgeting process and immensely grateful to Council Member Menin and her amazing team for making this happen. New lighting will be game-changing for our league, the other leagues and groups that use the park and the community at large,” said Smith.
Menin dipped into her discretionary funds to award an additional $900,000 on top of the $1 million pie that was split up by the winners in the participatory voting process.
Also among the winning projects in the participatory voting process was $150,000 for trees to be planted throughout the district which includes Yorkville, Lenox Hill, Carnegie Hill, Roosevelt Island, Midtown East, Sutton Place and East Harlem.
Menin said district 5 had more votes than any other Manhattan city council district participating in the eight day voting period which ended on April 2.
The participatory budgeting process permitted constituents of the district as young as 11 years old to vote, in a form of direct democracy, for the particular initiatives they wanted to receive funding.
As stated at the outset of the program, capital projects were to split a $1 million pot of money that is awarded to each council district based on the outcome of the vote. As a result of the program’s success, Menin has stated she will allocate additional funding from her discretionary funding in order to fund the top six initiatives with the most votes.
“It’s extraordinary that our district finished first in Manhattan and demonstrates our community’s dedication to civic engagement,” said Menin. “I look forward to continuing this momentum in the future.”
The six winning projects to be funded are as follows:
New Trees and Tree Guards for District 5 - 1,641 votes; This $150,000 project will install 30 new trees (with tree guards) throughout District 5.
New Security System for PS 198 and PS 77 - 1,570 votes; This $450,000 project provides for the installation of new security cameras for the building that includes both PS 198 and PS 77.
Lighting Upgrades for Stanley Isaacs Park - 1,457 votes; This $420,000 project will install new lighting for the park.
Technology Upgrades for MS 114 - 1,445 votes; This $105,232 project will fund 96 M1 Macbook Airs, 4 Laptop Carts, and 3 Chromebooks (Mediatek MT8183) for East Side Middle School .
PS 217 Bathroom Upgrades - 1.438 votes; This $300,000 project will renovate the bathroom for P.S. 217.
New Security Cameras for Holmes Towers - 1,266 votes; This $500,000 project will install 33 new security cameras for Holmes Towers.
“Thank you to the people of the Upper East Side for voting to expand our urban forest and add lighting to Stanley Isaacs Playground hockey rink,” said Manhattan Parks Borough Commissioner Anthony Perez. “Each and every tree makes our neighborhoods greener and healthier. These investments will enrich the neighborhood for decades to come.”
“We have been trying–unsuccessfully–to upgrade the lighting at Stanley Isaacs Park for the past decade and have met roadblock after roadblock along the way. We are thrilled to be part of the Participatory Budgeting process and immensely grateful to Council Member Menin and her amazing team for making this happen. New lighting will be game-changing for our league, the other leagues and groups that use the park and the community at large,” said Tom Smith, Executive Director, New York City Roller Hockey League.