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Levin Reveals Participatory Budgeting Ballot Items, Includes Security Cameras, School Improvements

Near the intersections of Clay, Franklin, and Commercial Streets. A proposal to make the intersection safer is included in this round of participatory budgeting (Google Maps)

March 26, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

Council Member Stephen Levin (D-Greenpoint) has released this year’s participatory budgeting ballot items, with several items listed in North Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Participatory budgeting allows residents to vote on how to spend capital funds on projects such as schools improvements, parks, libraries, and more in Council District 33, which stretches from Greenpoint down to the Gowanus neighborhood. At least $1 million from the city budget will be dedicated to neighborhood improvements.

One of the ballot items is a $300,000 project for pedestrian safety improvements at the intersection of Clay, Franklin, and Commercial streets in Greenpoint. The ballot says the three-way intersection, which is located next to the Greenpoint Playground, is dangerous.

Another project, valued at $80,000, would install new water fountains at P.S. 318 on the Williamsburg and Bushwick border, and at P.S. 157 farther south . The proposal includes replacing four water fountains at the schools with foundation and bottle-filling stations.

For the 94th Precinct, which covers the majority of Greenpoint and parts of Williamsburg, a ballot item proposes installing two security cameras within the area, to be determined by community input. The 84th Precinct is also included in this item, for a total cost of $142,000.

The remaining six items on the ballot are spread through Levin’s neighborhoods south of North Brooklyn. These include school improvements like bathroom renovations at George Westinghouse High School, laptop carts for the Dock Street Middle School and P.S. 157, and gym upgrades for the Urban Assembly Campus.

A $300,000 pedestrian and bicycle connector is also on the ballot. The project would build out a bike path on Atlantic Avenue from Brooklyn Bridge Park to Columbia Street.

For Community Boards 2 and 3, which are made up mostly of the Bed-Stuy neighborhood, a $210,000 project would see 60 trees and tree guards installed to the area.

Voting will begin on April 7, and go through April 15. District 33 residents 14 and up can vote online or in person for up to five items. The online voting site is not yet active, but the full list of in-person voting locations can be found here.

The winning projects will be announced by the end of June 2018, before the City Council passes the budget for the following year. The projects will then be included in the budget for 2019.

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