January 24, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING FUNDS ALLOCATED
Projects include a Youth Program for Community Beautification
and Youth Programming Fund
KINGSTON, N.Y. - Mayor Steve Noble is pleased to announce the projects designated for each business district, which were selected by the community, allocating funds from the first-ever Participatory Budgeting Project. Both Midtown and Uptown voted for community beautification training for youth, while the Rondout district voted for youth programming.
The Midtown and Uptown budgets will both be allocated to the YMCA Farm Project to create a new program, which will train local youth to work in areas of community beautification, including landscaping and greenscaping. The program will give a stipend to the participating trainees, who will be planting trees, removing litter, covering graffiti and other community beautification efforts. The program will be up and running this year.
“We are thrilled to expand our youth development program to offer training in greenscaping and other community improvement initiatives,” said Susan Hereth, Education Director of the YMCA Farm Project. “We look forward to working with the city to make our community a greener, more beautiful space, and providing teens the opportunity to learn new skills while being a larger and productive part of their community. The projects awarded through the Participatory Budgeting process are ideas the teens in the community have talked and asked about - to receive funding to allow the youth to bring their ideas to fruition is a powerful lesson.”
The Rondout district voted to allocate its funds for new or expanded youth programming. The funds will go to the Office of Community Development, which will have an application process for organizations to submit ideas for programming initiatives. These applications will be presented to the Community Development Advisory Board, which will award the grant for projects specifically geared toward youth-based programs in the Rondout area.
“The first Participatory Budget was a big success. We will be helping to institute some fantastic new programs for the youth in our community, and at the same time cleaning up and greening our surroundings,” said Mayor Noble. “Participatory Budgeting means residents and business owners in each district have a say in how they want to improve their neighborhoods, and I think they have chosen great projects that we can all be proud of.”
Participatory Budgeting is a process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. For the pilot project, $15,000 was set aside for improvements or projects in each business district (Uptown, Midtown and Downtown), for a total investment of $45,000. These funds were generated by revenue received from off-street parking fees. The Mayor has set aside $20,000 for each district in the 2019 Adopted budget towards another round of Participatory Budgeting.
Top three highest-voted projects in each district were:
1. Develop landscaping/greenscaping training program for youth who need jobs
2. Develop additional summer community events, performances, picnics and celebrations
3. Plant additional trees with regular maintenance and pruning
1. Create a Midtown enhancement project for trees, and improve landscaping
2. Improve sidewalks and crosswalks
3. Add benches at bus stops and improve bus shelters
1. Fund youth programs, community events, education and wellness centers
2. Purchase additional trash and recycling cans
3. Build a seasonal ice skating rink
Related links: https://www.kingstonymcafarmproject.org/