The Downtown Revitalization Initiative provides a comprehensive approach to improving the physical, social, and economic climate of participating communities. The intention is to provide funding that can help communities on the cusp of economic revitalization tip over into sustained prosperity.
The DRI Planning Process
The DRI accomplishes its goals through a unique state-local partnership that includes the Local Planning Committee (LPC), state agency staff, and a consultant team. The LPC is responsible for representing the interests and priorities of the community, while the state agency staff ensures that the process and deliverables are consistent with the goals, priorities and requirements of the Initiative. In addition, the state agency staff, together with the consultants, provides expertise, guidance, and technical assistance to develop a strategic investment plan that will achieve the vision and goals for revitalization of the downtown as approved by the LPC.
Step One: Assembling the Local Planning Committee
LPC is made up of local and regional leaders, stakeholders, and community representatives. Each LPC is led by two co-chairs consisting of the local elected official (or his or her designee) and a member of the Regional Economic Development Council. Other members will be invited to participate by the Secretary of State after consultation with the LPC co-chairs and other state partners.
The LPC will work with the consultant team and state planners to:
• Create a profile of the downtown.
• Refine the vision that was included in the community’s DRI application.
• Develop strategies and identify methods to achieve the downtown vision.
• Identify and select projects key to overall downtown revitalization.
• Develop and adopt a Downtown Revitalization Initiative Strategic Investment Plan.
• Develop a community engagement plan and engage the public in the planning process.
As representatives of a variety of interests within the community, the LPC members will be asked to play a central role in identifying the most appropriate approach to community engagement for their DRI area and to take an active role in public outreach. Outreach should be both to inform the public and to receive suggestions from the public.
City of Kingston Local Planning Committee:
Micah Blumenthal, CIXdesigns/O+ Festival
Jimmy Buff, Radio Kingston
Peter Buffet, NOVO Foundation
Don Christian, SUNY New Paltz
Karen Clark-Adin, Bop to Tottom
Dennis Crowley, Stockade FC and Foursquare
Jonathan Drapkin, Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress
Julia Farr, Kingston Land Trust
Aimee Gardner, O+ Festival
Kate Heidecker, Kingston City School District
Kale Kaposhilin, Evolving Media Network
Thomas Keegan, Keegan Ales
Guy Kempe, RUPCO
Elenie Loizou, Kingston Uptown Business Association
Steven Noble, Mayor
Jake Salt, LGBTQ Center of Hudson Valley
Jason Stern, Luminary Publishing
Don Tallerman, DragonSearch/Senate Garage
Theresa Widmann, Anahata Yoga & Healing Arts/O+ Festival
Step Two: Consultant Team
A consultant team contracted by the state is assigned to each community. The team will work with the co-chairs and state agency staff to prepare for and staff LPC meetings and public outreach events. Consultants will prepare and implement a public engagement strategy with input and participation from the LPC, whose members are best positioned to recommend strategies appropriate for their community. Consultants will handle meeting logistics and meeting presentations. At the LPC meetings, the consultant will ask LPC members for their ideas and guidance at each step of the planning process.
With direction from state agency staff and guidance from the LPC, consultants will prepare program documents, such as the downtown profile and assessment; the downtown vision; revitalization strategies to achieve the vision; the DRI Strategic Investment Plan; and fulfil other tasks within their scope of work, such as research and market studies. Consultants will assist the LPC in identifying key projects for implementation using DRI funding, and will prepare detailed project profiles and analyses that demonstrates the feasibility and potential impact of projects
Step Three: State Team
State agency staff from the Department of State (DOS) and Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) will be assigned to each LPC. The DOS planner, with assistance from HCR staff and the Empire State Development (ESD) Regional Director, will manage the consultant team assigned to the LPC, and assist the consultants and LPC in meeting preparation, as well as preparation and review of DRI documents. The HCR representative will bring to the planning process their knowledge of the community and expertise in housing development, CDBG, and HCR grants and programs. The ESD Regional Director provides a wealth of knowledge of past, present, and proposed development in an around the downtown. When needed, state agency staff will facilitate assistance from other State agencies.
The state team will also work with the consultants to ensure project profiles include the appropriate level of information needed for state evaluation of projects. Once projects are selected for funding by the State, the State team will prepare contract work plans or incentive proposals for projects assigned to their agencies, or work with others within their agency to supply needed information for work plans or incentive proposals.
Step Four: Public Engagement
Broad public outreach is important throughout the DRI planning process, as public input will help shape and enhance the plan. Outreach is a great way to educate residents and other community members about the DRI planning process and other related community goals and policies - such as comprehensive plans, local waterfront development programs, and other economic development initiatives – and how they can be involved.
Public engagement should be undertaken to inform and educate, to solicit and receive input, and to build support for plan implementation. LPC members will play a pivotal role by helping to identify key individuals, organizations, and entities that should be involved in the planning and implementation process and by determining the best way to involve them. If some of the key individuals are not people who typically would attend public meetings and workshops, other techniques will need to be identified that will engage them.
Informing and educating the public can be done through formal public meetings and workshops, open houses, websites, social media, presentations at meetings of community organizations, and other means of communication.
Full meetings of the LPC should be open to the public. The extent that the public will be able to actively participate in a meeting will depend on the purpose and structure of the meeting. In general, meetings will fall into three categories:
• LPC Meeting – working meetings conducted by the LPC co-chairs to provide for discussion among the LPC members and presentations on scheduled topics. At the discretion of the LPC, meeting agendas may include time for public comment or other engagement exercises.
• Open House – T largely conducted by consultants to educate the public and get the public’s reactions to information and ideas. LPC members may also be present.
• Workshop – These sessions will be held to solicit ideas from the public, and comments on various planning topics. These public engagement workshops, charrettes, and focus groups are intended to be very interactive, with participation by both the public and LPC members.
The LPC may form work groups to provide an opportunity for some members to dig deeper into an issue, and to provide an opportunity for non-committee members – such as local business persons, labor specialists, academic experts, and neighborhood activists – to work interactively with LPC members. Work groups provide an opportunity for brainstorming, for building a sense of community spirit and buy-in of the plan, and allow for better time management at LPC meetings.
One-on-one conversations may also take place. Some of these conversations may be scheduled interviews, but others may be more casual, such as encounters with interested citizens outside of a meeting, at a school event, or when grocery shopping. While LPC members are free to engage in conversations with people, members should also encourage them to share their ideas in writing or during a public comment session so other committee members can benefit from their input.
City of Kingston DRI Public Meetings (Archive):
Downtown Revitalization Initiative Kick-Off Event & Open House
Monday, October 30, 2017
City Hall (420 Broadway)
DRI Kick-Off Press Release
DRI Kick-Off PowerPoint Presentation
DRI Kick-Off Video Recording (Video credit: Kale Kaposhilin, Evolving Media Network)
Local Planning Committee Meeting #1
Date: Thursday, November 16, 2017
Location: Old Dutch Church (272 Wall St.), Bethany Hall
Code of Conduct
Roles and Responsibilities
Frequently Asked Questions
Priority Project List from Application
Notes from 1st Public Meeting
Local Planning Committee #2
Date: Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Location: Old Dutch Church (272 Wall St.), Bethany Hall
Bilingual Latino Representatives Focus Group
Date: Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Location: Old Dutch Church
Downtown Revitalization Initiative Public Workshop
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Location: The Kirkland (Corner of Main St. and Clinton Ave.)
Local Planning Committee #3
Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Location: Old Dutch Church (272 Wall St.) Bethany Hall
DRI Goals and Strategies
Project Summaries (Spanish) (Draft)
Downtown Revitalization Initiative Public Meeting
Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Location: The Kirkland (located at the corner of Main St. and Clinton Ave.)
Local Planning Committee #4
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Location: Old Dutch Church (272 Wall St.)
Downtown Revitalization Initiative Project Priorities Public Survey (February 2018)
Step Five: Strategic Investment Plan [link]