By NICHOLAS WILLIAMS

Bronx Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner presented a ceremonial check of $30,000 to the 161 street Business Improvement District (BID) Thursday afternoon for a project to “beautify” the Grand Concourse.

The $30,000 grant will go towards a project by BID to clean up 161st to 166th street in the Bronx. Workers will be compensated in this project to improve the quality of life and cleaning up trash in the area.

“I’m looking forward to funding it even further because honestly cleanliness is like a really top issue here in the Bronx,” Joyner said. “So having these workers here dedicated to cleaning up I think is really important.”

Joyner said that her goal by next year is to raise enough money so that BID will be able to extend past 166th street as she wants to improve the entire Grand Concourse.

“The dollars definitely make a difference in terms of being able to do certain things, because for example, the type of work is the kind of thing people should get paid for,” Operations Manager Joseph Mpa said. “It definitely makes a difference, it also shows a level of concern for people in this community.”

“Just making the whole Concourse beautiful because it is a historic sight, but it doesn’t get the attention it deserves.” Joyner said.

Grand Concourse is near Yankee Stadium. The area has bad reputation for cleanliness, but recently BID has been active in improving the quality of life in the area.

“In this area, we have elevated the ranking from a D to an A by getting contributions like this $30,000 which enables us to do what should be being done anyway which is keeping the area clean and friendly,” said Executive Director of BID Cary Goodman.

Goodman said Joyner was able to receive this grant through the state budget after she ventured to Albany and successfully lobbied for the funding for the project.

“This area just never got the kind of resources from the city, from the state, from the federal government that Downtown Brooklyn, Downtown Manhattan, Downtown Queens received even though this is the downtown area of the Bronx.” Goodman said.

“In a long term basis, we need to do a lot more to make this neighborhood comparable  to what you would see if you were in a central business district of other boroughs,” Goodman said. “So we have a short term project of continuing to sweep and a long term effort to sort of find new areas that we can provide services and opportunities in the community to keep it cleaner.”