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Recommendations Seek to Address the Borough’s Longstanding Issues

QUEENS, NY – Borough President Melinda Katz submitted to the Mayor and City Council recommendations for the expense and capital budget priorities that the Borough President and her fellow members of the Queens Borough Board want to see included in the City’s adopted budget for Fiscal Year 2016.

The recommendations were prepared by the Borough President’s budget staff and was approved by the Queens Borough Board on March 9. The document is required by the City Charter and is intended to aid in the shaping of the FY16 budget, which Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council must adopt by July 1, 2015.

“The recommendations included in this budget priorities document seek to provide a meaningful approach to addressing some of the longstanding issues faced by the Borough of Queens,” Borough President Katz said. “Our recommendations are intended to help craft a fiscally responsible City budget that will address the concerns of our diverse population of 2.3 million people and make Queens an even better place to live, work and visit.”

The recommendations include:

  • Identifying additional funding to restore the New York State Pavilion
  • Expanding Universal Pre-Kindergarten funding to meet the needs of Queens children
  • Restoring Borough Presidents’ discretionary funding for senior services
  • Increasing funding for cultural organizations in Queens
  • Ensuring the timely planning and rollout of the anticipated Five Borough Ferry System, including the Rockaway Ferry
  • Increasing funding for transportation services for senior citizens
  • Creating a Flushing Meadows–Corona Park police substation
  • Creating and preserving more affordable housing in Queens
  • Increasing capital funds for the construction and expansion of schools
  • Increasing support for arts and cultural programs in schools
  • Creating a 116th Precinct by dividing the area covered by the NYPD’s current 105th Precinct into two sections
  • Increasing the number of child care and Head Start sites in Queens
  • Ensuring that the capital surplus from the construction of the Rockaway Boardwalk remains in Queens
  • Increasing expense funding to support weekend service at Queens Library locations
  • Increasing the number of NYCHA units available for homeless families from 750 to 2,500
  • Increasing funds for tree stump removal and tree pruning
  • Expanding Select Bus Service on Woodhaven Boulevard
  • Installing additional pedestrian countdown crosswalk signals, increasing the number of slow zones and assigning more police officers along high traffic corridors

The Borough President’s budget office prepared these priorities after reviewing information supplied by the borough’s 14 Community Boards and by local organizations seeking City funding. This information included oral and written testimony submitted during the Queens Borough Board’s budget hearing, which Borough President Katz chaired on February 23.

“I thank all of the community leaders who testified at our February 23 budget hearing,” Borough President Katz said. “Your testimony helped us shape a well-crafted document that contains dozens of recommendations aimed at improving the quality of life of Queens residents.”

The Borough Board is made up of the Borough President, the members of the City Council representing Queens and the chairs of borough’s community boards.

The full recommendations are available on Borough President Katz’s website at www.queensbp.org/budget as “FY16 Preliminary Budget Response”.