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A fresh round of capital funding - Non-profits, cultural institutions get slice of $121.7 billion budget pie

The Brooklyn Paper
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Brooklyn College and the Coney Island boardwalk are expected to be two of the big-ticket items that will get capital funding from the state’s new $121.7 billion 2008-09 budget.

Scores of borough non-profit organizations and cultural and other educational institutions are also slated to get state funding as Brooklyn delegation or member items.

As it currently stands, Brooklyn College is slated to get over $220 million in capital funding for four projects through Republican State Senator Marty Golden and the Senate budget.

This includes $161 million for the Roosevelt Hall Science Facility, $29 million for the Performing Arts Center, $22.8 million for the West Quad Building and $9.8 million for the Fire, Alarm and Security Project.

“Over the years, so many students have earned highly respected degrees as well as a foundation for life at Brooklyn College,” said Golden, who represents mainly Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights.

Brooklyn College President Dr. Christopher M. Kimmich thanked Golden for ensuring that the school received the funding through this year’s state budget.

“The fundamental decisions reflected in this capital budget have set the college firmly on the path to modernizing and transforming the campus,” he said.

The dilapidated Coney Island Boardwalk will get a $10 million allocation for repairs through and Assemblymembers Steve Cymbrowitz and Alec Brook-Krasny.

Cymbrowitz’s district includes parts of the following communities: Sheepshead Bay, Midwood, Manhattan Beach, Gravesend and Brighton Beach

Brook-Krasny represents Coney Island and Dyker Heights along with parts of Brighton Beach, Bensonhurst, Gravesend and Bay Ridge.

Kate Cucco, spokesperson for Brook-Krasny, said an official announcement should come in the next two weeks.

Community Board 13 District Manager Chuck Reichenthal said he heard about the money coming to repair the boardwalk and called it a “good start.”

The word around Coney Island is that fixing the boardwalk will probably cost in excess of $100 million, he said.

Cymbrowitz said he also brought home $2.5 million in capital money to renovate the Kingsborough Community College ball fields.

Assemblymembers William Colton and Alan Maisel both gave thousands of dollars to neighborhood organizations ranging from little leagues to senior centers to local museums.

“If you came to my office with a legitimate idea, I’d probably give [state] money. I look at it as seed money,” said Maisel, who represents Mill Basin, Canarsie, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Gerritsen Beach and Bergen Beach.

Colton, who represents the bulk of Bensonhurst and Gravesend, said he basically tried to give money to local non-profit organizations servicing seniors and young people.

“Our seniors needed to be provided for and are often neglected, and our young people are an important investment in the future,” said Colton.

Assemblymember Rhoda Jacobs, who represents parts of Midwood and Flatbush, allocated funds to about 30 non-profit organizations.

Some of the larger allocations went to the Batey Relief Alliance ($10,000), which fights poverty in the Caribbean, and longtime local nonprofits Church Avenue Merchants Block Association ($20,000); Erasmus Neighborhood Federation ($25,000); Flatbush Development Corporation ($45,000) and the Midwood Development Corporation ($32,500).

Assemblymember Helene Weinstein said she gave mainly supplemental grants as opposed to sole source grants to the diverse array of nonprofits in her East Flatbush, Flatlands and Midwood district.

The majority of the funds given were in the $2,000-$5,000 range, she said.

State Senator Diane Savino, whose district straddles Staten Island and includes Coney Island, Bensonhurst and Borough Park, said she targeted allocations to direct service organizations dealing with education and social welfare as opposed to cultural organizations.

The cultural organizations have more funding streams, she said.

State Senator Carl Kruger, whose district includes Homecrest, Marine Park, Bergen Beach, Mill Island and Gerritsen Beach, also gave to senior centers and organizations supporting youth and literacy programs.

State Sen. John Sampson, whose district includes mainly Canarsie, East Flatbush and Brownsville, brought allocations home to nonprofits dealing with schools, senior centers and immigrant rights programs.

He also funded security cameras in several public housing complexes including the Bay View and Tilden houses.

“Member items are not dirty words,” said Sampson. “You have to bring resources home to further the stability and enhance your community.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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