Last Friday, Councilman Costa Constantinides announced an allocation of more $290,000 to keep streets clean in the district.
The Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (ACE), the Department of Sanitation (DSNY), the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) and the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition (CALDC) will all receive funds to provide cleaning, beautification and graffiti-removal services throughout the area.
“We’re expanding our efforts to keep it beautiful for those who live and work here,” Constantinides said.
In particular, the groups will provide additional resources to 30th Avenue for beautification after the corridor was partially shut down for eight months due to subway construction.
The councilman said the services will ensure that visitors see an even more beautiful 30th Avenue than they found before, while also improving the quality of life for residents and business owners.
ACE, whose employees have cleaned the area for the last three years, received more than $225,000 to continue cleaning Astoria sidewalks.
They currently provides the same services on Ditmars Boulevard, Shore Boulevard, 30th Avenues and Hoyt Avenue North as well as landscaping on Hoyt Avenue North.
“The initiative helps communities be beautiful and stay beautiful,” said executive director Jim Martin, “and certainly it has helped the men and women in our program obtain sustainable employment and recapture their lives.”
DSNY will use $10,000 to increase the frequency of garbage pickups along 31st Street near Ditmars Boulevard.
QEDC received $20,000 to provide graffiti removal, while CALDC got more than $35,000 to plant new tree beds and provide other beautification measures.
“When there’s graffiti on the walls, it makes the neighborhood look bad and it makes it look like the streets are controlling the shops,” said Robert MacKay, QEDC’s director of public relations.
He explained that it discourages people from shopping there, and makes them unhappy as they walk by.
Constantinides explained that the services provided by these groups help keep Astoria beautiful.
“These are the folks that get it done for us and we appreciate it,” he said.