Following the agreement between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council on June 30 on the city’s $98.7 billion budget, Councilmember Justin Brannan recently announced several local budget victories.
As part of what has been coined as the Recovery Budget, more than $13 million in capital funds will be used for schools, parks and playground improvements in the 43rd District, which includes Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach and Bensonhurst.
Like all neighborhoods, Southern Brooklyn suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Several businesses closed. Garbage pickup has slowed, and education has been challenging.
“This past year was unlike anything we’ve ever known or experienced,” Brannan said. “It was an extremely anxious time for everyone, but our community has always come together like a small town when things get tough. This time, the challenges we face are extraordinary, and they are not unique to our area.”
Six schools will receive funds for various improvements, including: $130,000 in technology upgrades at P.S. 127, $1 million for a new gymnasium at P.S. 163, $500,000 for a new playground at P.S. 204, $130,000 in technology upgrades at P.S. 229, $400,000 for auditorium upgrade at P.S. 264 and $130,000 in technology upgrades at P.S./I.S. 30.
As far as parks are concerned, $4 million will be made available to renovate and expand the playground and basketball courts at McKinley Park; and $2 million will be allocated for new paths, benches, landscaping and security lighting at Owl’s Head Park.
During a Community Board 10 meeting in April, NYC Parks presented its plans on renovating Owl’s Head Park. Parks’ goals include upgrading active-play capacity for the park and neighborhood, facilitating passive use and community events; and enhancing environmental features at the site.
Because locals have often expressed concern about the increase of garbage on the streets, $200,000 has been allocated toward increased corner trash basket pick-ups on the avenues
In addition, more than $2 million will go to local non-profit organizations.
Brannan, a Democrat, commented that although economic recovery in all neighborhoods will be difficult, the Recovery Budget (for Fiscal Year 2022) will serve as a needed help.
“Now more than ever, we need people in office who will fight like hell for our collective future,” said the councilmember. “I am honored to serve the hardworking people of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, and Bensonhurst every single day. New York City isn’t going anywhere, and neither am I.”
Brannan added that since he has been elected, he has brought back more than $60 million in investment to his district.