14 Sep 2014
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Lander Vows To Support Carroll Library Despite Low Votes

The library did not qualify for Participatory Budget monies.

Lander Vows To Support Carroll Library Despite Low Votes

It's back to the drawing board for supporters of the proposal to facilitate more community access, WiFi, and amenities at the . The project failed to receive enough votes to qualify for a share of the $1 million up for grabs this weekend.

City Councilmember Brad Lander has committed to push forward on the project to meet the community's needs, telling Patch, "Through the Participatory Budgeting process, we have been able to talk to staff at the Brooklyn Public Library, the new Friends of Carroll Gardens Library group and the local residents who were involved in the process, about improving ease of access to the community room and extending the wireless service," he said. "I am optimistic that we will be able to take some steps forward, without spending capital dollars, to meet this need in the Carroll Gardens community.”*

This weekend, 2,213 residents of Lander’s Brooklyn district voted in NYC’s first “participatory budgeting” election, a new initiative that let community members decide how to spend their tax dollars on projects in their neighborhood.

"I was overwhelmed by the turnout and deep level of engagement, and I’m thrilled that we are funding the projects that the people have prioritized,” Lander said in a prepared statement.

Voters selected from among 20 projects proposed by neighborhood residents, including one to renovate the Carroll Library’s lower level into a children’s activity room with new furniture, and a community room equipped with stage lighting and an audiovisual system. These new spaces would be used for a range of events, from community group meetings and gatherings, to plays and concerts. 

Nearby projects in Gowanus and Park Slope, however, will benefit from the vote. 

A Bathroom Renovation for the Children of PS 124 received an overwhelming 958 votes to renovate two dysfunctional bathrooms that serve over 136 of the youngest students daily in a high-needs elementary school. Approximately $150,000 has been ear-marked for the cause.

Meanwhile, a project called Brooklyn Neighbors Composting to create a pest-free, smell-free compost system near Gowanus Canal using 1 ton per day of kitchen food scraps collected at local greenmarkets and schools to create rich soil for gardens, parks, and trees received 919 votes and was designated $165,000

The complete list of other winning projects are available on Councilmember Brad Lander's site. 

Where else can the community find the money to improve the library? Share your ideas in the comments below.

*This article has been updated from its original version to include a quote from Councilmember Brad Lander that was sent after press time.

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