The new city budget agreed upon earlier this month includes funding for several major projects in Astoria.
According to Councilman Costa Constantinides, the budget includes money for parks, libraries, public housing and a neighborhood hospital. In addition to the $1 million from the councilman’s discretionary funding for bus countdown clocks, school improvements and other projects, more than $7 million from the city budget is earmarked for the neighborhood.
Mount Sinai Queens, located at 25-10 30th Ave., will get $1.8 million in funding for their acute stroke center. The hospital is the only one in the borough designated as a primary stroke center by the New York State Department of Health and the Joint Commission. The hospital is currently working on completing an expansion that includes an Emergency Department, six new operating rooms and expanded outpatient medical services.
“Mount Sinai Queens is grateful to our Council Member Constantinides and the entire Queens Delegation along with Speaker Mark-Viverito for providing essential capital funding to assist with the purchase of much needed stroke treatment equipment,” said Shelly Felder, senior director for marketing and communications at Mount Sinai. “The latest support from the City Council will help us to deliver life-saving health care to all residents of Queens and NYC.”
Parks in the area will also get a boost. A total of $3 million is allocated for Hallets Cove Playground, where the asphalt blacktop will be turned into a multi-purpose ball field. Whitey Ford Field will also receive $2 million from Constantinides and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. The baseball field will be re-graded, the grass will be re-sodded and measures will be taken to prevent flooding conditions.
The Astoria Houses will also receive $1 million for upgraded lighting near the parking lot and new closed-circuit television cameras inside of stairwells. A total of $600,000 will help to upgrade the basketball courts there.
NYC Cleanup, an initiative started to remove graffiti, received $2.4 million citywide in this budget, and more than $250,000 will be used for sidewalk cleaning and graffiti removal in Astoria.
“We are proud to invest in our children, our public spaces, and our community’s health,” Constantinides said. “This budget will make our neighborhood more sustainable, improve healthcare, give students the resources they need in our public schools and libraries, and bring much-needed funding to Hallets Peninsula. These investments will bring long-lasting improvements to our community.”