By Kelsey Durham
City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) joined workers from the DOE Fund in College Point this week to announce a $67,000 funding allocation that will allow the organization to clean up the streets of northeast Queens.
Vallone stood beside community leaders and local business owners Monday morning as he formally announced the initiative that designed to remove garbage and debris from two main stretches of road in his council district. The money will provide clean-up programs for Bell Boulevard in Bayside, between 35th Avenue and 45th Drive, and College Point Boulevard between 14th and 23rd Avenues.
“When I first took office, I said that College Point will always have the same seat in the district as the other neighborhoods,” Vallone said, standing in front of Cascarino’s Pizza on College Point Boulevard. “So when we were asked where we wanted to put this clean-up initiative, where better than in the heart of College Point with all these great businesses?”
Vallone called the section of College Point, along with the stretch of Bell Boulevard that will receive maintenance, two “thriving economic sectors” of northeast Queens and said the funding will go a long way toward helping the hundreds of businesses in the area continue to succeed.
“Our brothers at the Sanitation Department can only do so much, and this is a way to assist them with the work they do every day,” Vallone said. “They can’t be out here every day, and this is a way for us to do it together.”
The street clean-up by the DOE Fund, which is set to begin in October, will help beautify the sidewalks in front of more than 300 businesses located along both boulevards.
Lyle Sclair, executive director of the Bayside Village BID, said the cleanup will ease some of the concerns from business owners along Bell Boulevard who worry that the increasing amount of litter in front of their stores will result in fines and citations for them. He also said it would bring much needed assistance to the BID workers who already clean the streets of Bayside, who will continue working along sign the DOE Fund for the duration of this initiative.
“In these economic times, to have someone outside sweeping at all times of the day is someone who could be selling or doing books for you,” Sclair said. “This will bring us additional support. The BID does what they can, but we need all the help we can get.”
Chuck Apelian, vice chairman of Community Board 7, thanked Vallone for securing the funding allocation and said the money would help provide great improvements to the neighborhood.
“This is a thrilling day to know we are able to bring this type of funding and attention to this part of our community,” he said.
Reach reporter Kelsey Durham at 718-260-4573 or by e-mail at kdurh[email protected]glocal.com.