Boro Prez spreads $24mil budget

There’s a lot – and a little something – for almost everyone in Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s new budget.

His office will dish out almost $23 million in capital funding to worthy Bronx organizations as part of his FY2014 capital budget allocations.

In total, Diaz has provided $22,924,000 in capital funding to organizations across the Bronx, focusing on areas of education, housing, economic development, parks and other areas.

“The ‘New Bronx’ is rapidly changing and our economy is growing. What better way to continue positively enhancing our Borough than by awarding our worthy organizations the funds to improve the lives of residents from all corners of the Bronx,” said Diaz. “These funds will help towards our common goal of making the ‘New Bronx’ the epicenter of economic progress and prosperity, beautifying our borough and building new infrastructure in the process.”

The largest portion of this year’s budget allocation—roughly 31 percent of the budget for a total of $7.1 million—went towards funding Bronx parks.

This includes funds for the Phase I Lower Plaza construction at Roberto Clemente State Park, reconstruction of the basketball and handball courts at Millbrook Playground, funds towards an exercise station at the playground at Pelham Parkway, the installation of a new fence at Joyce Kilmer Park and money towards Phase II reconstruction at Playground 52.

Diaz also threw a significant portion of his funding—23 percent—to the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). This includes nearly $5.3 million towards seven public housing developments in the Bronx.

Projects include the renovation of the senior center at the Monroe Houses and security enhancements at the Eastchester Houses, McKinley Houses, Ft. Independence Houses, Marble Hill Houses, Middletown Plaza and Bailey Houses.

“The safety and security of our residents is of great importance to me,” he said. “Enhancing security at our public housing developments is a tool that can deter crime and improve the quality of life of NYCHA tenants.”

Diaz also funded 26 projects related to the borough’s education institutions, providing funding for smart boards and computer equipment at P.S./I.S. 224, for technology upgrades at the Bronx Academy of Health Careers, laptop computers for The Young Women’s Leadership School of the Bronx and smart boards for P.S./M.S. 279, among other public school projects.

He also funded several important higher education projects, including the construction of the new Allied Health & Science Building at Hostos Community College, HVAC replacements at Bronx Community College as well as iCloud services at Lehman College.

“Education at all levels remains an important focus of my administration, and my office will continue to provide the necessary funding that Bronx students at all levels need to succeed,” said Diaz.

Borough libraries, health providers and other important institutions in this year’s capital budget also saw funding, including the restoration of the Reptile House at the Bronx Zoo, a transformative, mixed-income housing development at 810 River Avenue, construction at the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center and computer upgrades in libraries across the Bronx.

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