De Blasio announces $82.2B budget with funding in Queens, new snow removal equipment – Metro US

De Blasio announces $82.2B budget with funding in Queens, new snow removal equipment

De Blasio announces $82.2B budget with funding in Queens, new snow removal
Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday afternoon a proposed city budget that will aim to assist the outer boroughs and make it easier for New Yorkers to deal with future snowstorms.

The mayor outlined his 2017 executive budget proposal, which is estimated to total about $82.2 billion, and pointed out that over the five years the city’s population has grown at the fastest rate since the 1920s.

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“At its core, our budget is our roadmap for lifting up communities. After over two years in office, this vision — the strategic investments we have put to work in every neighborhood, coupled with disciplined fiscal management — are producing real results for New Yorkers,” de Blasio said. “Today’s budget builds on that track record, continuing the progressive, responsible and honest budgeting we have established since assuming office.”

As part of the budget, the city will invest $70 million in capital funds to build a brand new 116th Precinct in Queens — serving the neighborhoods of Laurelton, Rosedale, Brookville and Springfield Gardens — after many residents have voiced their outrage with the slowness of the current 105th Precinct.

De Blasio said that the investment in the new precinct would aid in allowing for quicker response times while also increasing police presence in the neighborhoods.

After receiving backlash from the outer boroughs during the blizzard that struck New York City in January — which left some neighborhoods with close to 30 inches of snow — the city is planning to include $21 million in the budget that will go toward new snow removal equipment to improve snow clearing response.

The funding will go toward 80 new haulsters, 21 extra front-end loaders and will increase the Department of Sanitation’s capacity to plow smaller streets and clear crosswalks, bus stops and areas which see larger amounts of pedestrians.

“Sometimes the little things can make a big difference — especially in a snowstorm. DSNY needs to be able to clear snow from narrow streets and crosswalks in the most effective and efficient way possible — and new haulsters and skid steer plows will help them do just that,” de Blasio said. “This new funding will make our streets safer for pedestrians and vehicles by purchasing smaller equipment that will help DSNY deftly navigate snowy streets and clear crosswalks and bus stops.”

The city’s budget is also slated to include $5 million that will go toward new ambulance tours — including 34 in Queens and 16 in the Bronx — with hopes of improving response times to 911 calls.

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Other initiatives the budget is aiming to fund include a $276 million roadway replacement of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, which is expected to take four years of construction to complete; and funds toward services offered at Beacon centers in schools across the city which offer students afterschool tutoring and assistance in looking for jobs.

Money was also proposed to go toward the city’s homeless plan focused on prevention and rehousing; expanding community-based healthcare and remodeling outdated system at hospitals; tripling intensive-care mental health units on Rikers Island; and reconstructing a ferry pier at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The proposed budget will have to be approved by the City Council by the end of June.