July 5, 2021 by Allie Griffin
The city’s newly approved budget for fiscal year 2022 has provided funding for the modernization of a number of flushing parks, libraries and schools.
Council District 20, which includes Flushing, Queensboro Hill, Mitchell Linden and parts of Whitestone and Fresh Meadows, will receive a total of $ 39 million from the city’s largest budget ever, Councilor Peter Koo announced on Wednesday.
Koo and the majority of his colleagues voted Wednesday to approve the $ 98.7 billion city budget – backed by a spate of $ 14 billion in federal aid. The budget was approved with 39 votes to 6.
“As we continue on our path to recovery from the worst pandemic of our generation, the funding I secured with my colleagues in this year’s budget will help New Yorkers bounce back,” Koo said in a statement.
Koo secured funding for infrastructures such as schools and parks, as well as services that help citizens access food and health care.
The largest donation in the district was $ 10 million towards the overhaul of the athletics field at Francis Lewis High School in Fresh Meadows. According to Koo’s office, the track has long suffered from worn and uneven surfaces that create dangerous conditions for athletes.
Each school in the district will also receive funding – a total of $ 14.9 million for fiscal 2022.
The money will be used for technology upgrades at PS 20, PS 162, PS 242, PS 244, Queens Academy High School, Queens High School for Language Studies and Veritas Academy. In addition, auditoriums and gym upgrades at the PS 24, PS 120, PS 163, PS 177, PS 214 and the Flushing International High School are financed. PS 22 will also receive $ 500,000 for security cameras.
Millions are also flowing into the renovation of parks, playgrounds and green spaces in the district.
The budget is $ 2.4 million for the second phase of the renovation of the Captain Mario Fajardo Playground in the Pilsena Corridor Park. Last year, Koo raised $ 3.2 million to renovate the playground.
The Pilsena Park Velodrome bike path in the same park is also receiving $ 2.5 million for safety improvements.
Nearby, the green space next to the Queens Botanical Garden on College Point Boulevard and Blossom Avenue is being upgraded with $ 950,000 from the budget.
The modernizations are part of a project put together by Koo’s office, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, the Queens Botanical Garden and Bao Kang Adult Day Care. The renovation includes the renewal of the existing path and the installation of lighting.
Meanwhile, $ 3.5 million has been allocated for a full renovation of Weeping Beech Park in Flushing. The funds will be used to renovate the basketball courts, playground and other areas.
Koo has also donated $ 2 million to two libraries in the district. The funds will be used for the resilience of the Queensboro Hill Library and renovations of the Mitchell-Linden Library.
Funds will also be used for after-school programs, domestic violence counseling, senior transportation through Self-Help Community Services, graffiti removal, arts and culture programs, and more.
He has also provided $ 710,000 to help fund 99 programs in 95 different Asia-American Pacific Islands (AAPI) organizations, including the South Asian Council for Social Services, the Korean American Family Service Center, the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation and more.
In addition to funding local AAPI community groups, Koo praised a new influx of $ 4 million in city-wide funds that will be used to support the AAPI community.
“Our community has fought hard for a tangible solution to the devastating effects of the pandemic and the rise in Asian hate crimes,” said Koo. “This new funding is a great first step that I hope will become a lasting commitment to addressing systemic inequalities in our community.”