Today’s news:

Budget windfall for PACC

The Pratt Area Community Council appeared to be one of the bigger Fort Greene/Clinton Hill recipients from the recently passed $59.1 billion fiscal year 2009 city budget.

The nonprofit organization located at 201 Dekalb Avenue — which manages or owns 57 buildings containing a total of 550 residential and 14 commercial units, in addition to working on economic and tenant issues — received two $400,000 capital funding allocations.

The first allocation came through City Councilmember David Yassky’s office and will go toward the rennovation of the old firehouse at 365 Jay Street.

“It’s a very expensive renovation,” said PACC Executive Director Deb Howard. “The building is on the National Historic Trust.”

The second $400,000 allocation came through City Councilmember Letitia James’ office. The money will fund the community space portion of the mixed affordable housing/community/retail space development slated on the former Navy Brig site bounded by Flushing, Park, Vanderbilt and Claremont avenues.

Additionally, PACC received $60,000 through the city’s Department of Housing and Preservation Development (HPD) that allows neighborhood-based groups to design and implement a grassroots-based approach to the most critical threat to affordable housing in their individual communities.

Howard said PACC has been receiving money for this program for several years.

Among the other community based organizations in the borough that also received $60,000 for these services are the Park Slope based 5th Avenue Committee and the Flatbush based Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. of East Flatbush.

Finally, PACC also received $5,000 from James’ general allocation funds for its Fulton Area Business Association welcome center at 80 Hanson Place.

James said it was a particularly tough city budget year, in which the Bloomberg administration slashed to the bone many critical services citywide.

The City Council honored in restoring $129 million through its portion of the budget toward public schools, said James.

James said the mayor refused to fund any public housing community and senior center, which was expecting some $30 million in city funds.

The Council wound up giving NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) 13 million from its allocation, she said.

James said other citywide services which saw cuts included senior services, legal services, nursing initiatives, child-care services and health center.

The Council restored some of this funding and the mayor did not put in one penny, said James.

James did manage to fund a wide array of community based organizations from her discretionary funds in her district.

Among these were the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project Local Development Corporation ($15,000) and the Fort Greene Park Conservancy ($10,000).

Among the other groups that received funding included tenant associations in public housing, churches, arts groups, local police precinct community councils, and senior and youth centers.

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