Community Board 6 district manager John Sanchez and Councilman Ritchie Torres praised the mayor at his 37th town hall meeting held on Wednesday, October 4.
“The town hall was great, like Christmas came early for Community Board 6 because all of our top budget priorities were funded,” Sanchez said about the meeting held at I.S. 254, at 2452 Washington Avenue.
“It was an honor to bring Mayor de Blasio to (Council) District 15 for a town hall,” Torres said. “Hundreds of residents attended, and many were able to ask the mayor and city agency commissioners questions about quality of life issues and their concerns for the future of our city.”
A key expense priority was financing a Bronx youth court, according to Sanchez, who said the Bronx was the only borough without this alternative way to try young people charged with low-level offenses.
The renovations of Quarry and Mapes ball fields were also announced by the mayor, along with a $500,000 investment in the Arthur Avenue retail market, and $300,000 for sidewalk improvements in Monterey Houses, a public housing development.
Quarry ballfield is located at East 181st Street, Oak Tree Place, between Quarry Road and Hughes Avenue. Mapes ballfield is located on Mapes and Prospect avenues, between East 180th and East 181st streets.
“It was overall a very important and fruitful day for Community Board 6, showing that this area of the central Bronx is no longer being ignored,” Sanchez said. “We are not as close to transit as parts of the south Bronx, but the need is just as great. We are very pleased with it and we want the city to continue investing in our neighborhood.”
The mayor also announced funding for Cure Violence programs in the 48th and 52nd precincts, Torres said.
“As a result of the advocacy of local residents and my office, millions of dollars are being invested in the Central Bronx,” the councilman pointed out.
Torres said that in partnership with the mayor and Bronx borough president, over $20 million has been invested to renovate parks throughout council district 15.
And in public safety, the mayor has “invested hundreds of millions of dollars to pursue the most ambitious community policing initiative ever undertaken in the U.S.,” Torres said.
“We’ve created an entirely new category of police officers, known as neighborhood coordinating officers, whose prime focus is not simply to respond to 911 calls, or to lurch from one emergency to the next, but to develop deep and durable relationships with members of the community,” Torres said.
NCOs, as they are called, leverage trusting relationships to collect intellligence for crime prevention, according to Torres.
And at the center of the mayor’s agenda has been creating and preserving affordable housing at a pace and scale not seen in decades, according to Torres.
“For example, the redevelopment of Lambert Houses represents a $600 million investment in West Farms, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city,” Torres said. “We are going to create 1,600 units of affordable housing across the income spectrum.”
Lambert Houses, 1048 E. 180th Street, are located near the Bronx Zoo.