July 1, 2010 By Christian Murray
Despite the tough economy, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer has secured funds for two local parks and has restored funds for libraries and firehouses that the Bloomberg administration planned to slash.
Van Bramer was able to help restore $61 million in funding for libraries. The restoration has ensured that the Sunnyside library will remain open and that 14 libraries in Queens will not close. In Queens, the funding also helped save more than 350 jobs.
“People would stop me on the street and ask me whether the [Sunnyside] library would close,” Van Bramer said, who is the chairman of the NYC council’s Cultural Affairs and Libraries committee. “There was real concern out there.”
While he said he was optimistic about getting some of the funds restored, he was pleased with the final result, pointing out that it was the largest restoration in funding for libraries in New York City history.
Other big victories included:
1) Securing the funding for the purchase of the Woodside Triangle Park. Van Bramer is meeting with the developer today to negotiate the terms of a land sale. (click on previous story)
2) Getting funding for the full rehabilitation of the Lou Lodati Park, including a dog run in Sunnyside, Queens.
3) The restoration of funding for the after-school program at PS 150 on 43rd Ave (bet 40th and 41st). The program provides free after-school services to more than 200 children. “This is what I was most proud of,” Van Bramer said, “after seeing the concern of parents at PS 150 when I spoke there.” (click on previous coverage here)
4) Generating funds for an anti-graffiti campaign.
5) The first phase of funding for security cameras at Woodside Houses
6) The saving of 20 firehouses, including Queens’ Hook and Ladder 116 in Dutch Kills
Its good to see someone is doing something around here.