Durham opens voting for $2.4 million in funding for participatory budgeting projects

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North Carolina Construction News staff writer

Durham residents have until Oct. 31 to rank 10 project proposals to receive the latest round of $2.4 million in participatory budgeting grant funding.

“This year’s proposals were evaluated for equity based on project location, the demographics of impacted residents, and access to resources,” said Andrew Holland, budget and management services department assistant director. “Having residents vote for what they believe the City should fund in their communities gives them a real voice in their local government decision-making process on how their tax dollars are put back into their communities.”

The 10 project proposals are:

$990,000: Install pedestrian safety and traffic calming measures such as sidewalks, crosswalks, and signage on East Trinity Avenue from North Roxboro Street to Avondale Avenue.

$888,000: Outdoor lighting to improve safety and extend the usable hours at Morreene Road Park, Holton Career and Resource Center, and Edison Johnson Recreation Center parking lot.

$762,000: Add a shade structure at Bay-Hargrove Park; add a shade structure and new playground at Carroll Street Park; and add a shade structure and new playground to Southern Boundaries Park.

$347,000: Create a skate park with movable equipment to increase access to skating.

$85,000: Upgrade equipment, such as computers and games, at the Durham Teen Center at Lyon Park, Holton Career and Resource Center, Walltown Recreation Center, W.D. Hill Recreation Center, and Weaver Street Recreation Center.

$352,000: Crosswalks for pedestrian safety featuring public art at the intersections of Lynch Street and Mangum Street; Roxboro Road and Lynch Street; and University Drive at the Rockwood Center.

$330,000: Build a new bathroom facility at Cook Road Park.

$110,000: Install water bottle filling stations, bike repair stations, and solar power charging stations to improve sustainability and encourage physical activity at CM Herndon Park, Duke Park, Lyon Park, Merrick-Moore Park, Solite Park, Twin Lakes Park, and Westover Park.

$275,000: Create an artistic and educational monument with local artists honoring the formerly enslaved people of the Stagville Plantation and their descendants for a City-owned site downtown.

$110,000: safety improvements including cameras, deadbolt locks, and improved lighting in the Cornwallis Road Community and Preiss-Steele Place.

“Last November, we collected ideas on how to distribute funding for selected projects that were prioritized around equity using a citywide asset map,” Holland said. “This map allowed residents to submit their ideas and was then used to help guide our volunteer budget delegates, our PB Durham steering committee, and staff to develop those ideas that benefited our most underserved and underrepresented communities into the 10 proposals now up for voting.”

Funding requests for the top projects that total $2.4 million will go to city council for review and approval in winter 2023.

Previous projects in PB Durham Cycle I, which funded 18 projects using $2.4 million, included physical infrastructure projects, such as playgrounds, bus shelters, and public art; technology improvement projects, such as solar panels on bus shelters for charging mobile devices; and community enhancement projects, such as planting street trees.

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