29th Ward projects decided for 2020

December 10, 2019
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After two weeks of voting, Ald. Chris Taliaferro’s (29th) office tallied 330 votes from this year’s participatory budget election – and six out of the seven projects will be funded.

Here are the winning projects:

  1. Street resurfacing (10 streets): $600,000
  2. Community garden improvements:
    • Rutherford Sayre Park: $5,000
    • Harambe Community Garden: $5,000
    • Austin Green Team Community Garden: $5,000
  3. Sixteen light pole identifiers (west of Central Avenue and east of Austin Boulevard): $160,000
  4. Twenty-five litter receptacles etched with “Austin Community” (west of Central Avenue and east of Austin Boulevard): $110,000
  5. Two new floodlights for Columbus Park tennis courts: $1,800
  6. A pedestrian crosswalk and safety island across North Avenue (Between Natchez and Nagle Avenue): $160,000

“The top three vote-getters were three projects that the volunteer wanted to have equity across the ward,” said Byron Watson, 29th ward staff assistant and participatory budget director.

Costs of the top three project winners were low enough to allow for several other projects to be funded based on the number of votes they received.

The only project to not make the list was the West Corcoran Place improvements along the north exterior wall of the L track and underpasses at Mayfield, Menard and Parkside avenues.

Forty more 29th Ward residents voted in this year’s election – held from Nov. 6 to 20 – than the one held in 2017 and 130 more residents than the 29th Ward’s first participatory budget cycle held in 2016.

Watson thanked all the voters who participated and the three teams of volunteers who canvassed parts of the ward to garner input for project proposal and raise awareness for the voting cycle.

The team leaders and those groups include Tom Drebenstedt (Team North), Maria Sorrel (Team Central) and Tina Augustus (Team South).

Watson said an appreciation get together will be held in January, and meetings for the 2020 cycle will happen in March and April, and he encourages anyone interested in volunteering to reach out.

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