The restoration of a historic building in College Point, Queens and the state-of-the-art smart boards for two central Brooklyn schools were approved by residents through participatory budgeting in their City Council districts.
Eight City Council districts took part in the city's second annual attempt at participatory budgeting, with each council member agreeing to allocate $1 million in capital projects in four boroughs.
While votes started to trickle in today, a final count won't be finished for days.
Having started out with four districts for city's first foray in 2012, eight districts took part in this year's vote.
Democratic Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander, an early adopter of participatory budgeting, celebrated the results from his own district.
"After one of the more trying years in our city’s history, it would be easy to divide into factions and work against each other for funding for our corner of the city," Lander wrote in a statement today. "But New Yorkers are showing a better way forward and are working together to make the tough decisions that make all of our communities stronger."
His own district, which includes Cobble Hill, Gowanus and Park Slope, voted to extend sidewalks where Church Avenue crosses Coney Island and McDonald avenues, renovate bathrooms at a local school in Carroll Gardens and install high-tech white boards in two of the district's schools. Lander said that 2,812 residents voted on the district's six projects, which will use $950,000 dollars in allocated money.
More than half of the 1,170 residents from Queens Councilman Dan Halloran's district voted to restore the Poppenhusen Institute building at 114-04 14th Road, home to a range community events and educational programs. Queens residents also voted to rehabilitate Hermon A. Macneil Park, a few blocks away from the Poppenhusen Institute, and install police cameras within the 109th and 111th precincts. Along with four other winning projects, the district plans to spend $995,000 on the results from its first year in the participatory budgeting program.
"We all learned a great deal," Halloran said in a statement announcing the results. "I especially congratulate the winners and encourage even more participation next year, in every district."
Other Council members will release the results of their participatory budgeting votes during the week. Manhattan and Bronx City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito will announce the winning projects on Monday night, and Brooklyn Councilman Steve Levin on Tuesday night. Levin took to Twitter today, however, to announce that his office processed 2,632 ballots from last week.
A huge thanks 2 all the D33 #PBNYC volunteers, delegates, voters, and my Council staff 4 an amazing effort in our first year! 2,632 votes!— Stephen Levin (@StephenLevin33) April 8, 2013
Councilman Jumaane Williams's office said that they were still counting votes as of Monday afternoon, and the Passover holiday extended voting in Councilman David Greenfield's district. Voting in Councilman Eric Ulrich's district will actually begin this week due to Sandy-related delays, according to his office.