Western Queens pols fund senior center, sanitation
by Benjamin Fang
Sep 03, 2019 | 784 views | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two elected officials representing western Queens announced wins for their districts in the recently-passed city budget.

Last Wednesday, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer visited the HANAC Ravenswood Senior Center in Long Island City to announce $37,990 in funding for the site.

The allocation includes $10,500 for healthy aging initiatives and $15,000 for the SU-CASA initiative, which connects artists and organizations with senior centers for arts and cultural programming.

Services at the Ravenswood center include breakfast and lunch, exercise classes, tech training, nutritional workshops, transportation and educational trips.

“HANAC is an indispensable partner in our community and I am incredibly grateful for their dedication to our Ravenswood seniors,” Van Bramer said in a statement. “This funding will directly fund essential services and programs to keep our seniors active, engaged and in good health.”

Councilman Costa Constantinides, meanwhile, announced last Thursday that the budget allocates $299,000 for cleaning services in his district, which includes Astoria and parts of East Elmhurst and Jackson Heights.

The beautification efforts will keep commercial streets clean, remove graffiti from walls and enhance planting along sidewalks, he said.

“Litter and graffiti shouldn’t plague our streets on a daily basis,” Constantinides said in a statement. “Thanks to the Cleaner NYC initiative, we’ve been able to bring more cleanup resources to western Queens to keep our streets livable.”

More than $9,000 of that allocation will go to the Jackson Heights Beautification Group, a community nonprofit that has advocated for a greener and more sustainable neighborhood for over three decades.

JHBG organizes gardening and cleaning events on Saturdays throughout the year.

The Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless, or ACE, will receive $225,000 for sidewalk sweeping on 30th Avenue, Ditmars Boulevard, Shore Boulevard and Hoyt Avenue North.

Central Astoria Local Development Coalition (CALDC) was allocated $35,000 to continue its neighborhood beautification program. The Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) was given $20,000 to scrub graffiti whenever it’s reported in the district.

Finally, the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) will receive $10,000 for extra garbage pickups near Ditmars Boulevard and 31st Street.

“The funding will not just clean up trash along Ditmars Blvd., care for street trees or clean up around the BQE,” said JHBG President Nuala O’Doherty, “it will help neighbors come together to improve their community, which builds community.”
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