It’s Your Action Plan
By Seth Piccirillo
The Niagara Falls Community Development Department (CD) is excited to start gathering public comments for our 2017 Action Plan. Through participatory budgeting, we will decide how to best use United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds, together.
We are doubling our neighborhood meetings to eight, adding new meeting locations, offering different times to accommodate your schedules, modernizing our competitive application and improving our online survey to get the maximum numbers of local ideas and opinions. Over the next five months, Niagara Falls residents will have 12 opportunities to attend a meeting or comment on the draft action plan prior to Niagara Falls City Council and HUD approval. We are taking the time to get this right.
Why is public participation so important to us? Because you are the experts on the needs of your neighborhoods. This is literally your action plan. We want to continue working with the community to support projects and services that add worth to your streets, families and housing values. This community-based approach, especially in recent years, is working.
Since 2011, CD and Niagara Falls Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. (NHS) have executed 156 first time home buyer closing cost grants. CD, NHS, Center City Development Corp and Highland Community Revitalization Committee have completed 136 housing renovations, and CD has demolished 101 blighted structures. In the same time period, we improved public spaces like Gill Creek Park, the Hyde Park Playground, Center Court Park and the NF Skate Park. Improvements at 70th Street Park, Jerauld Park and the Hyde Park baseball diamonds are also in the works. Orleans/Niagara Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) are relocating heath science career training programs in Niagara Falls, and youth programs like the Francis Center and Niagara Arts and Cultural Center are being supported. CD’s involvement in all of these projects and programs, and many more, started with conversations at one of our public meetings. Our process, through HUD’s investment, is a real opportunity for Niagara Falls residents to participate, give suggestions and to see tangible results.
The CD Action Plan has a very real impact on what it means to live, work, and play in the City of Niagara Falls. We hope that you will take part in building a vision for our city that we can all be proud of.
Applications/ Citizen Surveys available at the Department of Community Development, 1022 Main Street (Carnegie Building), Tuesday through Thursday, 8-4 pm, or on-line at www.nf-cd.org beginning 10/31/16.
Neighborhood Planning Meetings
Tues., Nov. 1st, 6: 00 p.m.: LaSalle Public Library, 8728 Buffalo Ave.
Wed., Nov. 2nd, 6:00 p.m.: City Hall Council Chambers, 745 Main St.
Thurs., Nov. 3rd, 6:00 p.m: Maple Ave. School, Rm #5, 952 Maple Ave,
Wed., Nov. 9th, 12:00 p.m.: NACC, Niagara Room, 1201 Pine Ave.
Wed., Nov. 9th, 6:00 p.m.: Doris Jones Family Resource Bldg., 3001 – 9th St.
Thurs., Nov. 10th, 12:00 p.m.: John Duke Center, 1201 Hyde Park Blvd.
Tues., Nov. 15th, 9:00 a.m.: Neighborhood Housing Services, 479 – 16th St.
Wed., Nov. 16th, 1:00 p.m.: LaSalle Senior Facility, 9501 Colvin Blvd., Building B
Fri., Dec. 16th, 12:00 p.m. Application Submission Deadline
Wed., Jan. 25th: Draft Plan and Budget Available for Review
Thurs., Feb. 2nd: Presentation of Draft 2017 Annual Plan and Budget
Public Hearing City Hall, 745 Main Street, Council
Chambers, 6:00 p.m. (Thursday)
Feb. 2 – Mar 6th: 30-day Public Comment Period
Seth Piccirillo is Director of Niagara Falls Community Development and a resident of Niagara Falls, New York.