July 29, 2022 - In this issue:
Mayor's Message
Covid Update
ETPA Signed Into Law Today
'Be a Road Hero' Tips for Drivers
Open Call for City Hall Art Exhibition Extended
MRTA Task Force Members Announced
Roadwork Update for Week of August 1
Join a City of Kingston Board or Commission
Mayor's Message:

Dear Friends -

I hope everyone and their properties are recovering from the recent storms. Our community has been hit hard by several destructive storms already this year, and we know that with climate change, it will only increase. I know many of our residents were without power in more than one recent storm. This week, I wrote a letter to the Public Service Commission urging Central Hudson to take preventative measures and create redundancies to secure our local power grid.

The City of Kingston has released our annual stormwater report for 2021-22, and many of our sustainability efforts can be found at EngageKingston.com.

Central Hudson will be hosting an Open House on Monday, August 1, from 5pm to 7pm at the Forsyth Park pavilion (125 Lucas Ave) to inform the public on their ongoing gas line replacement work, which will soon be moving to the Lucas Avenue neighborhood.

Covid Update
There are currently 149 active cases in Ulster County and 21 in Kingston.

Latest news:
Kingston Opts into Emergency Tenant Protection Act
Today, Mayor Noble signed the Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA) legislation into law in the City of Kingston.

The City’s Department of Housing Initiatives will oversee the implementation of ETPA in coordination with the New York State’s Division of Housing and Community Renewal. Kingston is the first New York municipality to opt into ETPA north of Rockland County.

“We applaud Mayor Steve Noble and the Kingston Council for taking this step to protect housing affordability. This will benefit long-term residents whether owners or renters. The only people this won’t help are corporate landlords,” said Jonathan Bix, Executive Director at For the Many.

Earlier this year, the City of Kingston surveyed properties built before 1974 with six or more rental units to determine how many apartments are vacant, how many are occupied, and how many are vacant but not available to rent. According to the survey data, Kingston has a net vacancy rate of 1.57% for this class of rental properties. The full vacancy report and methodology can be found here.

Based on the study, the City of Kingston was eligible to declare a housing emergency and opt into the ETPA. The rental protections under EPTA can only be applied to buildings constructed prior to 1974 with 6 or more units. When rent stabilization under EPTA is in place, the annual allowable rental increases would be determined by a Rent Guidelines Board. The operation of rent stabilized units is also regulated by other rules, including building maintenance standards and penalties, lease renewals, and capital improvements.
What Drivers/Passengers Need to Know About the Bike Lanes
The City of Kingston continues our 'Be a Road Hero' traffic safety campaign with information for drivers parking near bike lanes.

First, never park in the cycle track or in the buffer zone. This is extremely dangerous for cyclists. If you block the cycle track, you may force a bicycle rider to swerve into traffic or collide with a parked car.

Park with your vehicle inside the parking spot and not in the buffer zone (the white striped area between the parking spot and the cycle track).

If you park in the buffer zone and open your car door, you could seriously injure cyclists. That is called being “doored” and can kill a bicycle rider.

Always look both ways when opening a car door into the buffer zone. Try using the Dutch Reach (see graphic) when exiting your vehicle.

Open Call for Art for City Hall Exhibition Extended
The deadline for submitting artwork for a 2022 City Hall exhibition entitled, Kingston Revealed, has been extended to September 1, 2022.

Artists are invited to submit work that celebrates and visually represents the significant contributions made by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, LGBTQ, and/or women to the City of Kingston throughout history. Selected works will be displayed on the Ground Floor Gallery at City Hall from October through December, with an opening reception on Saturday, October 1, 2022.

The application can be found at https://bit.ly/3OA4ZUu. Additional information on submission requirements is available at www.kingston-ny.gov/exhibitions.
MRTA Task Force Members Announced
The nine members of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) task force have been selected: Joseph Baganz, Essie Baker, Amberly Jane Campbell, Stuart Chernoff, Jeremy Cherson, Steve Ellman, Mandy Geyer, Willie Johnson, and John Mazzone.

The MRTA task force will meet periodically over 12 months and its mission will be to help guide the City in our limited authority over the time, place and manner of retail operations. The task force will help to amplify community voices regarding enforcement concerns and goals for how MRTA tax proceeds can be reinvested to achieve the law’s social equity objectives.
“Marijuana regulation is new for all of us and we want to make sure we support this new industry in the right ways, to ensure that our residents benefit from this economic development opportunity,” said Mayor Noble. “I thank the members of this task force who will guide us in this effort.” 
Council President Andrea Shaut said, “The MRTA task force is a proactive measure and useful tool for Kingston to move forward in the industry in a way that can focus on social justice and fairness to all. This is an opportunity for the City to consider the wrongs of previous laws, and how they unjustly held back members of our society. We now have the chance to do it better, and with this team, I have the confidence they will carry their wide range of perspectives to do just that. I would like to thank all applicants – we had to select from an impressive group of folks. I would also like to thank Corporation Counsel Barbara Graves-Poller for her role in establishing the task force.”
New York State continues to develop regulations related to adult use of cannabis (marijuana), revising long-standing law enforcement policies and creating new business opportunities throughout the State. The City has not opted out of allowing licensing for local dispensaries and on-site consumption. While the NY State Office of Cannabis Management will control that process, the task force will gather community input regarding these policy changes.  
Roadwork Update for Week of August 1
Paving on Prince Street from Jansen to Foxhall, Garden Street from Foxhall to Hasbrouck, and East O’Reilly from Hasbrouck to Broadway started today, and is expected to be completed early next week, weather depending.

Central Hudson: Service replacements will continue next week on Gage Street and Clifton Ave with detours and road closures.  

Work continues on the Midtown Parking Lots Green Infrastructure Improvements Project.

Regular Roadwork Updates are posted on the City's website here. More info about paving projects can be found at https://kingston-ny.gov/paving.
Paving on Prince Street today
Join a City of Kingston Board or Commission
The City of Kingston has 25+ boards and commissions, and we're always looking for volunteers to serve the community!
Currently we have openings on the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Ulster County Planning Board, and the Kingston Land Bank. The application for these and other commissions can be found here
Kingston 311
The Kingston 311 app, website and phone system allow residents to quickly and easily report issues and submit service requests. The Kingston 311 app, available for Android & iPhones, is a fast and simple way to connect to City officials in non-emergency situations.

This system is a valuable resource to submit service requests for streetlight replacement, roadwork, City signage, traffic calming measures and other concerns. Issues with snow removal and reporting of vehicles and sidewalks not in accordance with the Snow Emergency restrictions can also be submitted via Kingston 311. Photos can also be attached to illustrate service orders. Dial 311 from any phone within City limits to reach us. 
Sent on behalf of:
Mayor Steven T. Noble
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