A northeast Queens lawmaker recently secured $280,000 to keep local streets clean for his constituents.
On Friday, Aug. 20, Councilman Paul Vallone announced that these funds would go toward additional cleanup services from the city’s Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and Wildcat Service Corporation, which provides jobs for unemployed individuals with criminal convictions. This year’s funding for cleanup services is up $120,000 from the last fiscal year.
Approximately $140,000 from the funding will go to DSNY in order for the agency to increase litter basket service and maintain the Manual Litter Patrol program to keep trash off of the streets. The other $140,000 in funds will be allocated to Wildcat’s Neighborhood Improvement Program, which provides community street cleaning services and job training and employment services.
“Keeping our neighborhoods clean and comfortable is key to ensure that our city recovers completely from the pandemic. Last year I was able to maintain our community’s cleanup funding while so many other parts of our city had to go without, and this year I fought to make our streets even cleaner,” Vallone said. “I am proud to have secured this funding so that we are ready to come back stronger than ever!”
After many New York City agencies, including DSNY, lost funding during the pandemic, many residents suffered from a lack of trash maintenance services. But Vallone was able to secure $160,000 to maintain these services in 2020 to keep District 19’s streets clean.
Many civic organizations in the district rallied to save and increase these street cleaning services in order to maintain a healthy quality of life. According to Vallone’s office, the work of organizations like A Better College Point Civic Association and the Whitestone Merchant Association were key factors in resurgence of the funding.
“A Better College Point Civic Association would like to thank Paul Vallone for securing these much-needed funds and services. The reduction of the DSNY’s litter basket pick-up and other services during the pandemic really impacted College Point,” said Jennifer Shannon, president of the organization. “We are still experiencing a lot of illegal dumping and litter in this area. It is a relief to get some support and ABCPCA will continue to help in any way we can.”
Neighborhoods in District 19, particularly College Point and Whitestone, have taken full advantage of the Wildcat Neighborhood Improvement Program and thanked the councilman for securing funds to bring the program back for another year.
“As president of the Whitestone Merchant Association, I am sure I speak for our entire board to hear of the great news that sanitation and the Wildcat program are receiving funding to continue their efforts. We got a firsthand look and saw what an impact the program had on the sidewalks in Whitestone village,” said George Issakidis, owner of Harpell Chemists. “Maintaining a clean and welcoming town are key to an inviting patronage from our community. Thank you to Councilman Paul Vallone and all that helped continue this great cause.”