Councilmember's Corner: "The 2018 budget is a win for Petworth"

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Editor's note: We're pleased to have Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd as a new contributor to the Petworth News blog. The Councilmember will have a regular column on the site, sharing pertinent news and information about things happening at the DC Council that impact a Ward 4 audience. Together, we thought this would be an effective way for residents to be informed and engaged. It should go without saying that this column does not confer or imply any official status for Petworth News as an official DC Council or DC government information outlet, nor affiliation with any campaign matter in any way. This is a way for you to be more directly engaged with your DC Councilmember.


by Brandon Todd

Welcome to the first column of “Councilmember’s Corner,” a deeper dive into the matters important to Petworth residents. As you may know, on Tuesday, June 13th, the DC Council approved the finalized Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget. This document will guide how our government allocates $13.8 billion dollars toward meeting the diverse needs of the District of Columbia.

After considerable community outreach and substantial advocacy on behalf of Ward 4, I am pleased to report that Petworth will see a number of high-priority items funded in this year’s budget:

West Elementary Campus (photo: DCPS)

Accelerated Modernization of West Education Campus
This budget season, the Ward 4 community organized around advocating to move forward the modernization of West Education Campus, the last remaining fully-open floor plan school in the District. Approximately $1 million is now allocated in FY 2018 for planning and design of a fully-modernized West Education Campus. $78 million in total has been allocated for this comprehensive modernization. I was proud to advocate on behalf of accelerating this much-needed modernization, and thank the West community for organizing and helping get this measure through the Council’s budget process.

MacFarland Middle School

MacFarland Middle School

Maintained Funds for MacFarland Middle School Modernization
$16.9 million was maintained to complete the full modernization of MacFarland Middle School. The new school will open August, 2018, adding a major asset to Petworth’s pool of top-notch schools for our growing population of young families.

Improvements To Petworth Recreation Center
The $2 million that Mayor Bowser proposed for improvements to the Petworth Recreation Center will remain in the final budget. This will fund a new playground, refurbished basketball court, and updated splash pad at the popular Taylor Street recreation facility.

Petworth Recreation Center, 8th and Taylor Streets NW

Petworth Recreation Center, 8th and Taylor Streets NW

Improvements To Upshur Recreation Center
Looking farther ahead, Council has approved $12 million to fund improvements to the Upshur Recreation Center in Fiscal Year 2023. This substantial sum of money will allow for a significant improvements to this critical recreational resource.

Additional Infrastructure Funds
$4.6 million will be made available for each Ward to maintain and repair alleys, sidewalks, roads, and curbs. This will reduce our transportation infrastructure’s repair backlog and significantly enhance the neighborhood.

(image: Peter Dovak, Greater Greater Washington)

(image: Peter Dovak, Greater Greater Washington)

14th Street Express Bus Line
The new 59 bus will connect Takoma Metro with Federal Triangle Metro, providing express bus service on 14th Street and easing the commute for many Ward 4 residents. (See a great article about this by Zach Teutsch on Greater Greater Washington: "The 59 bus will bring express-like service to 14th Street NW.")

Main Street Designation and Funding for 14th & Kennedy Streets NW
The Department of Small and Local Business Development will provide $200,000 through a “Main Streets” grant to spur businesses development and invigorate the burgeoning commercial corridors of 14th and Kennedy Streets, NW. I support the Kennedy Street Development Corporation and the Community Alliance For Upper Fourteenth Street as they collaborate to win this grant.

Clean Team For Upper 14th Street
A specialized team to keep Upper 14th Street clean will improve the quality of life for residents and enhance business investment in this growing corridor. The Clean Team will be responsible for removal of litter, illegal posters and stickers, weeds, snow, and ice; recycling items collected from sidewalks and gutters; minor landscaping and greenery maintenance; and reporting and tracking public space defects via 311.

This is merely an overview of the most important Petworth-related budget items. To read more about how the budget invests in Ward 4 and the District more broadly, read my recent Ward 4 Special Edition.

The formation of a budget is perhaps the single most important process our government embarks upon annually. It is not only a practical appropriation of funds that directly guides the growth of our city, but it is an expression of our values and priorities. After carefully considering each line in the budget and the input of Ward 4 residents, I am proud to say that this Council made smart compromises between competing priorities while upholding the basic values of our city. I am proud to sign my name to this budget, and look forward to ensuring that the funds are implemented wisely and effectively to get the best possible results for Petworth and Ward 4.

 


Editor's note: We're pleased to have Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd as a new contributor to the Petworth News blog. The Councilmember will have a regular column on the site, sharing pertinent news and information about things happening at the DC Council that impact a Ward 4 audience. Together, we thought this would be an effective way for residents to be informed and engaged. It should go without saying that this column does not confer or imply any official status for Petworth News as an official DC Council or DC government information outlet, nor affiliation with any campaign matter in any way. This is a way for you to be more directly engaged with your DC Councilmember.

Brandon Todd

Brandon Todd is the DC Councilmember for Ward 4 in Washington DC.



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