June 20, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
The New York City Council finalized its $92.8 billion budget for fiscal year 2020 on Wednesday and Council Member Robert Holden walked away with a record breaking $11 million in capital funding for District 30—a $3.6 million increase from the previous year.
The district will also receive more than $2 million in expense funding from the City as well as an additional $3.65 million from Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.
“I am so proud to build on the success we had last year in District 30 by bringing in more funding than ever before in the coming fiscal year,” said Holden. “This capital will ensure immense improvements to our local schools, enrichment of our parks and strong support for community organizations that work tirelessly to make this district a great place to live and work.”
The capital funding is set to go toward necessary projects in the district, such as $600,000 in upgrades to the Grover Cleveland High School cafeteria. Another $500,000 will go towards the renovation of Evergreen Park, and $1.17 million will fund air conditioning improvements at P.S. 71 and P.S. 88. Historic Onderdonk House will undergo a $253,00 partial renovation and $200,000 will be used for construction improvements to alleviate flooding at Maspeth Town Hall.
The expense funding will be used to improve services within the district, namely expanding the Wildcat Service Corp. cleanup initiative, a local sanitation service that helps clean up the district’s street, to operate five days a week with additional routes. The money will also fund the expansion of after-school programs, non-profit community organizations, free events in the community, transportation initiatives for seniors, youth sports programs, and programs at senior centers.
Holden, who has long called for property tax reform, previously advocating for a $400 tax rebate for homeowners earning less than $150,000, said he was disappointed to see that no reform was included in next year’s budget.
“While I am thrilled to have this increase in funding, it is astonishing to see the citywide budget soar to nearly $93 billion,” Holden said. “I am disappointed that such a large budget still does not include property tax relief for our homeowners and I will continue to fight for such reforms on behalf of the middle class.”