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Monserrate touts role in boro capital projects

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Speaking at the East Elmhurst Library Jan. 31, Monserrate emphasized his role in funding capital projects in the area, including $1 million to rebuild the playground at East Elmhurst's PS 127. Plans for the park are expected to be rolled out later this year.Other school plans, he said, included two new schools: the Pan American International and Civic Leadership High School and PS/IS 260, which could open its doors as early as this fall.Monserrate also touted his role in allocating $1.1 million for a new library and conference center at the Vaughn College of Aeronautics, $250,000 for new computers at the district's public libraries and $135,000 to the East Elmhurst Library for an automated self-checkout system.After being confronted by insistent members of Community Board 3, Monserrate also promised to fight to keep community board funding at current levels. The mayor has asked community boards to prepare for budget cuts of as much as 15 percent by the end of the fiscal year.In his address, Monserrate pledged to maintain funding for hot meals for senior citizens through the Meals on Wheels program. He said other boroughs had reverted to delivering frozen meals to seniors in order to cut costs."We will never be one of those boroughs," he said.Monserrate was critical of the Willets Point redevelopment project but careful not to describe himself as anti-development."I am not an eminent-domain supporter," he said, advocating the fair compensation of business owners being ousted for the hotels, conference center and residential units planned for the Iron Triangle. "A project that includes $4 billion in expenditures should ensure there are no losers."Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jwalsh@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

Updated 6:57 pm, October 10, 2011
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