Brannan reveals the fine print of city budget

The new $92.8 billion city budget approved by the City Council on June 19 includes important items that will help Southwest Brooklyn residents at the grassroots level, according to Councilmember Justin Brannan, who said he worked hard to ensure that schools, parks and nonprofit social service groups in his district got their fair share of funding.

Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach and Bensonhurst did very well in this budget,” Brannan told the Home Reporter in an email. “We were able to secure major investments in our public schools, libraries, playgrounds and parks. We’ve doubled down on all the great things that make our district so incredibly special and unique.”

Fiscal Year 2020 begins July 1.

The budget includes $240,000 that will go toward sanitation services in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach and Bensonhurst, the neighborhoods Brannan, a Democrat, represents.

Brannan was able to secure $500,000 for additional NYPD security cameras around the Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District to improve public safety.

Thirteen public schools in Brannan’s district will each be getting a share of $3.4 million for various items, including technology upgrades, auditorium renovations, playground repairs and security cameras.

The city is putting $250,000 toward a full renovation of the community meeting room at the McKinley Library on Fort Hamilton Parkway due to Brannan’s efforts.

Brannan also secured funding for local parks, including: $5.4 million for renovation of J.J. Carty Park, $3.4 million for renovation of Vinland Playground, $500,000 for a new dog run in John Paul Jones Park and $200,000 for new trees and tree guards at Owls Head Park

Among the nonprofit organizations for which Brannan secured city funding are the Federation of Italian-American Organizations ($225,000); the Arab-American Association of New York ($225,000); NIA Community Services Network ($225,000); Guild for Exceptional Children ($75,000) and Reaching-Out Community Services ($30,000).

Citywide, the budget contains $40 million to ensure New York City is not undercounted in the 2020 Census, $33 million for libraries and $43 million for parks.

The budget was also fiscally prudent, according to Brannan, who said $250 million in reserves is being put toward an emergency “rainy day” fund.

“The overarching goal of the City Council was to improve the quality of life for everyone who calls New York City home while protecting those in need and safeguarding our city’s future well-being, and I do believe we accomplished that,” Brannan said.

The budget agreement between Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson was announced on June 14 and the Council approved the fiscal package less than a week later.

The budget includes funding for 200 additional social workers in public schools as well as monies to build senior housing.

“The Fiscal Year 2020 Adopted Budget creates greater fairness for all New Yorkers,” de Blasio said in a statement. “We’re also strengthening our support services in schools by providing over 200 social workers for students who need them most, fulfilling our commitment to senior affordable housing and putting our new expanded speed camera program into action. We’re accomplishing all of this while protecting the city’s fiscal health by increasing savings and adding $250 million to our already historic levels of budget reserves.”

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