With the city budget in a state of flux and Mayor Bloomberg threatening to cut everything from library aid to fire companies, Community Board 6 is leaving as little to change as possible.
The group on Wednesday approved its capital items and expense budget wish lists on Feb. 8 with money prioritized for several areas that may be facing the budget ax due to city, state and federal spending cuts.
The city has each community board draw up both lists each year to help officials with allocating money for community-based projects.
The two lists for CB 6, consisting of 10 items apiece, were read by Budget Committee Vice Chairman Todd Reisman and approved unanimously.
While more than just a wish list, District Manager Frank Gulluscio said none of the items yet has a dollar figure attached.
The first priority on the capital list is the continued expansion of the Rego Park Library. Bloomberg has proposed slashing funding to the Queens Library system by more than $26 million, which would lead to reductions in staff, hours and material.
Next on the list is funding for the Russell Sage Playground and multiuse center at Austin Street and 68th Avenue, behind JHS 190.
“People think it’s a part of the school, but it isn’t,” Reisman said.
The next two items, aimed at keeping the region green, would fund tree planting, pruning and stump removal and general park upgrades.
Traffic and pedestrian safety came in at five through seven, including reconstruction and the addition of greenery along the Queens Boulevard median, plus new crosswalks; safety improvements along Woodhaven Boulevard; and funding of a safety study of Union Turnpike between Metropolitan Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard.
Items eight and nine, if approved by the city, would see security cameras installed and ventilation systems upgraded at CB 6 subway stations.
Chairman Joseph Hennessy said the request was well-timed given the recent announcement that Congress is considering radical changes to mass transit funding regulations that could eliminate $1 billion per year from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
“If the government is cutting that, what might the MTA have to cut?” he asked.
The final new capital item calls for upgrades to communications equipment and computers at all CB 6 firehouses.
The board also called on the city to continue funding five ongoing projects, including senior citizen mixed income housing development; replacement of sanitation collection trucks and other vehicles; sound barriers along the Long Island Expressway; upgrading sewers; and the rehabilitation of Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The Beacon after-school program at JHS 190 sits atop the board’s expense budget list. It is one of seven Beacon programs in Queens being targeted for elimination under the mayor’s recent budget proposal.
“There could be an impact on 20,000 families if these seven programs are shut down,” said Marlena Starace, who has been with the Beacon program as a student and then a staffer since 1998.
Funding for senior centers — an item threatened with cuts in last year’s budget due to proposed state spending cuts — is second on the list.
The board also is seeking funding to augment personnel for city services.
Members are looking for funding to pay for recruiting and training crossing guards in the 112th Precinct; more Building Department inspectors and support staff; staffing for Queens Library branches in CB 6; additional recreational assistants for playgrounds; nighttime Consumer Affairs inspectors; park enforcement patrol employees; and personnel for the Health Department’s pest control program.
Item 10 calls for money for enhancement of overall forestry services.
In other business, Joseph Fox stepped down after seven years on the board in order to devote more time to his new position as president of the Forest Hills Jewish Center on Queens Boulevard.
“During this time, I have had the privilege of serving next to some of the most dedicated and hardworking people in Queens,” Fox said.
Gulluscio said anyone interested in filling Fox’s vacancy could apply through the office of Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.
The board also honored Hanum Kaziev, who received a proclamation from Marshall’s office commemorating his 15th anniversary as a board member.
Also on the agenda was the approval or renewal of five liquor licenses, based on the recommendation of the board’s Consumer Affairs Committee.
Renewals were unanimously granted to Pizzeria Uno, located at 107-16 70 Road, and Bangkok Cuisine, at 107-18 70 Road, both in Forest Hills.
New permits were approved for WAFA’s Restaurant Inc., at 100-05 Metropolitan Ave. in Forest Hills; Pizza Palace Cafe, at 63-60 108 St. in Forest Hills; and Queens Chikurin, at 95-34 Queens Boulevard in Rego Park.