Year 2 of Our Participatory Budgeting Process

NF CD Announces Year 2 of

Participatory Budget Process

Building on 2017 successes, 2018 Process Seeks

“Placemaking” Initiatives in Target Neighborhoods

Niagara Falls, NY – With projects chosen during last year’s PB360 process now set in motion, the Niagara Falls Department of Community Development is set to kick off its second year of participatory budgeting.

The approach to government decision-making seeks ideas from local residents that are then voted on directly at public events and locations throughout the city.

“This is about a community making decisions together. We showed in 2017 that when everyone is welcomed into the decision-making process, we can accomplish great things for our city,” Seth Piccirillo, Executive Director of Community Development, said. “We want to build on that success in 2018 and beyond.”

$120,000 will be made available to each of three neighborhoods throughout the city. These areas adhere to income guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for public investment, and community-focused investments have been awarded in these neighborhoods in the last several years.

What is Placemaking?

Placemaking is a process and practice of planning, creating, and maintaining places that builds a stronger connection and interaction among people, public space, and community-living.  Places are more than a location with new public improvements.  Places are areas of our communities where people live, work, and play with a shared meaning over time.  The placemaking process involves listening to stories and drawing ideas from residents on past, present, and future places in the community they share to help decide on the right public investment municipalities can make to improve the places residents live.  Public improvements for placemaking efforts, no matter how big or small, only add value to places when residents participate in the decision-making process.

What Are Some Examples?

Blight clearance

Playground and park improvements

Benches

Bike racks

Light Post Banners

Public Art

What Neighborhoods are Eligible?

Three areas are eligible for Participatory Budgeting:

1)    The “South End”

Borders: Niagara Street, 8th Street, Pine Avenue, and 4th Street

CD Investments: Walnut Avenue Homes, Niagara Orleans-BOCES

2)    The “North End”

Borders: Train track south of Grove Avenue, 9th Street, Beech Avenue, 15th Street

CD Investments: African Heritage Food Co-op

3)    “Middle Pine”

Borders: 24th Street, Ferry Avenue, 17th Street, LaSalle Avenue

CD Investments: Liberty Park Playground, Summer Park Programming Series

What is the Process?

Idea Sessions: June 21 through June 28

PB 360 will host a series of six public idea sessions, two in each target neighborhood, to maximize local public participation.  Adults and children alike are encouraged to attend these sessions to provide their ideas and input on what public space improvements they would like to see to create a better sense of place and community in their neighborhoods.  Voting will take place at public events and locations throughout the months of July and August. Exact dates and locations for voting will be announced in late June or early July.

Thursday, June 21, 10 am – First Unitarian Universalist Church of Niagara (639 Main St)

Saturday, June 23, 10 am – Christoforo Columbo Society (2223 Pine Ave)

Monday, June 25, 10 am – Community Health Center of Niagara (2715 Highland Ave)

Tuesday, June 26, 6 pm – St. John’s AME Church (917 Garden Ave)

Wednesday, June 27, 6 pm – First Unitarian Universalist Church of Niagara (639 Main St)

Thursday, June 28, 6 pm – Bethany Baptist Church (2002 Forest Ave)

Voting: July 7 through August 31

The final stage of the participatory budgeting process will see the top eligible ideas for each target neighborhood brought to a direct vote. Community Development staff will be on hand at advertised “Summer In Your City” events and other public events in public spaces to take votes from city residents. Voting will also be available to the public on Thursdays, 9 am to 3 pm, at the Carnegie Building located at 1022 Main Street.