Statement from Borough President Vito J. Fossella Commending DOT Commissioner Roseann Caruana on Swinnerton Street Concern
Several residents brought attention to an approved traffic conversion on Swinnerton Street during a recent Tottenville Civic Association Meeting. The conversion would change the street’s one-way traffic pattern to a two-way street. Residents said that they were never notified of the conversion and its approval, and were displeased at this process.
DOT Borough Commissioner Roseann Caruana said she was unaware of this approval and would investigate. Within one day, the Commissioner was able to identify the miscommunication among the neighborhood, and stopped the conversion altogether after listening to the concerned residents of Swinnerton Street.
We are very pleased and thankful for Borough Commissioner Caruana’s swift and positive response to a community concern. The evidence of a job well done came from the residents, primarily of Swinnerton Street, who were grateful to the DOT team for their actions.
Commissioner Caruana and her team deserve credit for reacting so quickly and responsibly to the matter.
Borough President Fossella, DSNY Commissioner Tisch announce $70K in budget allocations to business improvement districts
BIDs across the borough a priority in budget for cleanup efforts
Borough President Vito J. Fossella was joined by Department of Sanitation Commissioner Jesscia Tisch today to announce $70,000 in discretionary funds from our office to business improvement districts and merchant associations across Staten Island for beautification of their corridors, particularly in the removal of litter.
A Business Improvement District (BID) is a geographical area where involved businesses oversee and fund the maintenance, improvement, and promotion of their commercial district. There are over 70 BIDs in New York City with approximately $160 million invested in NYC neighborhoods annually. All Staten Island BIDs maintain the public spaces within their district, including any clean up of their corridor, and program their district with events that directly impact the surrounding neighborhood.
The entities that received the funding include the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) and their various neighborhood development projects, the South Shore BID, Forest Avenue BID, and the West Brighton LDC.
This funding is part of a broader citywide commitment to cleaner streets, and comes on the heels of an unprecedented $40 million investment by the Adams Administration that took effect earlier this year. These funds take street cleanliness significantly beyond pre-pandemic levels, and will cover 50,000 more litter-basket collections per week, new Precision Cleaning teams in the districts with the greatest need, and ongoing efforts to keep vacant lots from becoming filthy eyesores.
“We are grateful to have the opportunity to use taxpayer money to invest in several of Staten Island’s business improvement districts for their cleanup efforts, beautification services, and so much more,” said Borough President Vito J. Fossella. “These funds not only strengthen the economic landscape of the borough, but also give us a chance to show that cleaning up our borough is one of our top priorities, from West Brighton to Tottenville. I want to thank DSNY Commissioner Tisch for not only joining us today, but also supporting the work of our businesses and the vitality they provide to all of Staten Island.”
“New York’s recovery hinges on clean streets, and that’s going to take a real investment from every part of government,” said Jessica Tisch, Commissioner, NYC Department of Sanitation. “I want to thank Borough President Fossella for this investment, and look forward to supporting the various Staten Island BIDs in their important work of bringing New York back clean, healthy, and safe.”
"One of the most frequently identified needs of Business Improvement Districts and merchant associations is beautification and maintenance. The appearance and general cleanliness of an area can make a significant difference in its ability to attract shoppers," said Gina Gutman, Interim President of the SIEDC. "We're very thankful to Borough President Fossella for his support of our commercial districts and particularly the funding he provided for work in Rosebank, Graniteville and North Hylan.”
“Staten Island’s Business Improvement Districts have made significant investments in their communities, and we are thrilled to see their efforts supplemented by Borough President Fossella and DSNY Commissioner Tisch,” said Linda Baran, President & CEO of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. “This investment not only works toward beautifying our commercial corridors, but also ensures that our shopping districts are safe and welcoming for customers.”
“On behalf of the West Brighton LDC and the Forest Avenue BID we are thankful to Borough President Vito Fossella for providing funding for sanitation and beautification of the Forest Avenue Business Improvement District commercial corridor. Having a clean corridor not only supports the local economy, it enhances the quality of life for our neighborhood businesses and residents,” said Nina Flores, Executive Director of West Brighton LDC and Forest Avenue BID.
Watch the full press conference here.