ASTORIA, N.Y. – City Council Member Costa Constantinides, today announced a Fiscal Year ‘18 discretionary capital budget allocation of almost $7.5 million for capital projects on Hallets Peninsula. Community organizations and city agencies including NYCHA Queens Borough Director Carolyn Jasper, Queens Library COO Lew Finkelman, Astoria Houses Tenants Association President Claudia Coger, Urban Upbound CEO Bishop Mitchell Taylor, and Friends of Whitey Ford Field Co-Founder Sam Schachter, joined to support the funding and demonstrate the benefits to the area.
Greek-American Constantinides secured and allocated funding for playgrounds, security, and surrounding community facilities that will improve public spaces on the peninsula at the Western end of Astoria, according to his website.
Constantinides secured $3 million in funding from Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for improvements at Hallets Cove Playground to upgrade the empty asphalt blacktop into a multi-purpose ballfield. He also allocated $500,000 for Whitey Ford Field. The update will include re-grading the baseball field, re-sodding grass, and other updates to prevent flooding conditions. The improvements to these two greenspaces will bring environmental benefits to the neighborhood and offer improved spaces for enjoying ball games.
Security improvements will soon be implemented at NYCHA Astoria Houses with a nearly $1 million investment from Constantinides. He allocated $500,000 towards upgrading lighting at the Astoria Houses parking lot and another $459,000 towards installing new closed-circuit TV cameras inside the stairwells. These upgrades will improve visibility and increase safety for all Astoria Houses residents.
Funding for the basketball court at Astoria Houses was also allocated by Constantinides, an investment now totaling $600,000.
Constantinides said, “I am proud to have secured funding for safety improvements, playgrounds, and recreational spaces on Hallets Peninsula. These capital projects will go a long way towards making the neighborhood safer, greener, and more fun for families. It had been decades since Hallets Peninsula received significant investment from our city. Since taking office three years ago, we have made investment here on Hallets a top priority to ensure our residents receive the funding to their community they deserve. We thank Speaker Mark-Viverito and all of my colleagues for their support of Astoria. We look forward to continuing to work with city agencies and community stakeholders as these projects are designed.”
Council Member Costa Constantinides represents the New York City Council’s 22nd District, which includes his native Astoria along with parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights. He serves as the chair the City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee and sits on six additional committees: Civil Service & Labor, Contracts, Cultural Affairs, Oversight & Investigations, Sanitation, and Transportation. For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.