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Among the items that Community Board 14 will consider, when it develops its list of budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2011, are the resurfacing of Church Avenue and the installation of a sprinkler system on the malls in Fiske Terrace.
Both projects were brought up to the board during a public hearing held prior to its September general meeting, at Edward R. Murrow High School, 1600 Avenue L.
Mark Dicus, the executive director of the Church Avenue Business Improvement District, asked board members to support rehabilitating the heavily-used thoroughfare. He also requested that the board consider the installation of additional catchbasins along the strip, to deal with ponding after heavy rainfall.
“The road surface is in pretty poor shape,” Dicus told board members, noting that the last time it had been resurfaced was 1995. “I think 15 years is long enough,” Dicus added.
Dicus also said that the issue had repeatedly come up in a survey that the BID had conducted of merchants and shoppers. “The condition of the roadway is tough especially for seniors and disabled users,” he stressed.
The possibility of adding sprinklers to the malls in Fiske Terrace, a neighborhood in Victorian Flatbush, was brought up by board member Sarina Roffe. Roffe pointed out that, “The neighborhood association underwrites the cost of maintaining the malls,” for which costs have gone up significantly in recent years, she said. Other neighborhoods, Roffe added, are “in better condition,” and have had sprinklers installed, “either through member items (allocations from elected officials) or other sources.”
CB 14, like the other 58 community boards citywide, will develop its list of capital and expense budget priorities over the fall. The board had previously sent a mailing to residents requesting input. It will hold a second hearing prior to its October general meeting.
Subsequently, said board Chair Alvin Berk, members of the board’s budget committee will, “Mull over the contributions and emerge with recommendations” that will be voted on by the full board at the October meeting.
Those recommendations, he continued, are then submitted to the city for consideration, and are used by the Office of Management and Budget, along with recommendations from city agencies, to develop a proposed budget, which is submitted by the mayor to the City Council, which responds with its own budget.
While the community boards have a mandated role in the budget process, they have little effect on the budget that is ultimately produced. As Berk noted, usually, the responses from city agencies to the board’s priorities, “tend not to be substantive, unfortunately.” Those responses, however, generate another public hearing, in January, giving board members another opportunity to advocate for local priorities.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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