July 27, 2020 - In This Issue:
A Message From Mayor Steve Noble:
There have been more incidents of gun violence in the community. I wrote here last week that it will take everyone in the community to help us, to call for the end of this danger and unrest, and I appreciate all the support so far.
I am happy to see people coming together in the community and want to thank all of the organizations that are doing that on-the-ground work.
Chief Tinti addressed the Public Safety Committee on Wednesday night. You can hear his comments
(starting at minute 54:00).
Anyone who has information about these crimes is encouraged to call the anonymous tip line: 845-331-4499.
Please continue to stay safe, and take care.
The following streets were milled and freshly paved last week:
Tremper Ave. from Albany Ave. to Elmendorf St.
Elmendorf St. from Tremper to Broadway
Clinton Ave. from Maiden to Franklin St.
These streets were chosen for paving to alleviate some of the traffic detouring off of Broadway during the Streetscape project construction. Once these roads are paved, traveling through Midtown will be much smoother, while we continue to make vital improvements to our infrastructure across the City of Kingston.
Please Take the 2020 Census If You Haven't Already
Your household should have received the official Census by mail in March. We know this has been a stressful time, so we want to remind everyone to please fill out the 2020 Census if you haven't already.
You will have three options for responding:
The 2020 Census will provide a snapshot of our nation-who we are, where we live, and so much more. The results of this once-a-decade count determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. They are also used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.
Over the next decade, lawmakers, business owners, and many others will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions. The results will show where communities need new schools, new clinics, new roads, and more services for families, older adults, and children.
The results will also inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to more than 100 programs, including Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community mental health services, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP.
This is crucial - now more than ever - that our community gets the representation we deserve.
Meters to Resume This Week + New Parking App
The City of Kingston will resume paid meter parking on Monday, July 27, 2020. The municipal parking lots will remain free of charge until Columbus Day. Due to the Covid testing area on Grand Street, meters have been suspended.
With the Mid-Hudson Region now in Phase Four of the New York State re-opening plan, many restaurants and retail stores are opening to the public, and the need for instituting short-term parking has returned.
"We have heard from local businesses who are reopening requesting to reinstate metered parking across the City," said Mayor Noble. "In order to do everything we can to support these local businesses, we are bringing back the parking meters and keeping the parking lots free of charge. We hope this will encourage residents and visitors to enjoy shopping and dining, while not leaving their vehicle long-term, which hinders business access for others."
"In Uptown, the businesses who are re-opening are grateful that the metered parking is returning," said Elenie Loizou, Kingston Uptown Business Association President. "We think this is a great way to allow visitors and locals to do their shopping and dining, and for those needing longer-term parking to use the lots."
All parking meters were bagged and all fees were suspended on Monday, March 16, 2020 in response to COVID-19, in order to help slow the spread of the virus. Comptroller John Tuey estimates that the City of Kingston has lost approximately $375,000 in income from meter fees and parking violations.
The Whoosh mobile parking app will be changing to the Flowbird App on August 1.
Simply download the Flowbird App, use your same log-in, and your information will be updated within in the new app.
An Update About the Kingstonian PILOT Request
The Kingstonian project is of great importance to our City - not only will it bring desperately needed housing stock to our community, along with much-needed parking, the hotel and retail spaces will bring visitors and tax revenue. The developers have committed to paying a living wage for all new jobs created to operate the apartments, hotel and garage complex, and the public plaza will be a welcomed addition to Uptown. A PILOT for this project will have no negative tax implications, only positive!
In 2016, the City of Kingston was awarded the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) grant from New York State in the amount of $10 million, and in preparation, created a
Strategic Investment Plan
, which was prepared by a panel of community members along with City staff and local officials. The plan sought to address several critical issues that were negatively affecting the Stockade District. One of those was parking, which remains one of the biggest issues in Uptown Kingston.
In implementation of that plan, the City of Kingston issued an RFQ (request for proposals) from qualified developers to design, construct, and operate a transformative multi-use development on three separate parcels owned by the City of Kingston to provide housing units, commercial and retail space, and public parking. The Kingstonian plan, which includes a 420-car parking structure, came directly from this community-developed grant application and is now a priority DRI project. With the addition of 143 units of housing, the Kingstonian also addresses a dire housing shortage, with 10% of those units designated for affordable housing. A total of 14 units will be completely subsidized by the developers without any other state or federal subsidies.
The 420-car parking structure will cost an estimated $17 million to build, and the Kingstonian will be responsible for all operation and maintenance costs for the life of the project at an annual cost of approximately $268,000. The City of Kingston will have the use of 277 parking spaces at zero cost to the taxpayers. If the City were to build the parking structure, the estimated municipal cost for 25 years is
$30,000,000, more than $1.2 million a year.
According to the
2008 Uptown Transportation Study
, conducted by the Ulster County Transportation Council, "Over 95 percent of the people who park on-street sometimes have difficulty finding parking, while about 75 percent on those who park off-street have difficulty. Survey responses indicate that the critical on- and off-street parking periods are weekday mornings and midday. It should be noted that this survey was conducted just prior to the 317-car parking area being torn down, and the problem has far worsened with fewer spots now available.
The City of Kingston currently pays no taxes on the land used for public parking. Because the Kingstonian will be built on that property, there will be absolutely no loss of any tax revenue to any jurisdiction (City, County or School). Under the PILOT, the developers will continue to pay all current property taxes plus 3% annual increase for length of PILOT, which is $1,077,408 over 25 years, with no new PILOT sought after its termination. If the Kingstonian is more profitable than projected, the developers will share 3% of the additional profit with the taxing jurisdictions at a rate proportional to the current tax rate.
The Kingstonian plans also include 32 hotel rooms and 8,000 square feet of commercial space. Sales tax revenue from these ventures is estimated to provide the City of Kingston with a direct increase of $19,000 based on our current sales tax sharing formula. Additionally, based on the economic impact studies, the result will be a $4.6 million dollar boost to our economy.
"The value of this project for Kingston is enormous. If the City were to build a parking structure of this scale and magnitude, it would cost taxpayers millions of dollars," said Mayor Noble. "With the tax revenue generated from the new businesses, new resident spending in our community, and over 150 new jobs created, the positive ripple effects from this project will be felt in nearly every aspect of our quality of life in Kingston."
If this project does not proceed under the current scenario, the parking lot will remain at its current capacity, there will be no new jobs, no new sales tax revenue, no affordable housing units, and the private property associated with this project will continue to pay the current taxes.
Mayor Noble urges the community to support this project: "Our local economy has suffered a major setback with the pandemic. It will be vital in our recovery to get our economy back on track so that the City can continue to have resources to invest in public safety, infrastructure, waterfront revitalization, parks and recreation and quality of life. These are the aspects that make or break a City and we want Kingston to not only survive this economic downturn, but to thrive. I believe the Kingstonian project will help us achieve all of our shared goals as a City."
Beyond the public parking, the design includes a pedestrian plaza, which will be open to the public. At the request of the Uptown businesses, the project will include public bathrooms, which will be maintained and operated by the developer.
In addition to the commercial value the project brings, the developers want to have a positive impact on the local school system. The project will contribute $5,000 annually over a ten-year period to create a scholarship fund, and will offer two paid internships to mentor high school students in the hospitality and real estate fields.
The Payment in Lieu of Taxes Agreement will be discussed at the Common Council's Special Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday, July 28 at 6:30pm. Log-in details for the meeting can be found at
Mayor Noble's Updates - Now Tuesday & Thursday
Mayor Noble has been live on Radio Kingston
since mid-March to give the latest information about Coronavirus and issues effecting the community. These updates have also streamed on the City of Kingston Facebook page for the past 12 weeks.
He will now be giving his updates on Tuesdays and Thursday at 5:00pm.
Click below to hear Thursday's update.
Please be aware that the Elmendorf Avenue bridge between Broadway and Tremper has been closed due to traffic.
With the NYS DOT I-587 Roundabout Project, the Broadway Streetscape Project, and paving this week on Elmendorf, Clinton Ave and Tremper, along with Central Hudson's gas line replacement work, there are currently many detours throughout Kingston.
We must have the participation of everyone to navigate these temporary disruptions. Be aware that traffic patterns can change daily so you must stay alert, use caution, and watch for signals and signage. Workers may be present just feet away, and you put their lives in danger by being careless in work zones. Fines may be doubled for work zone traffic violations, and disregarding flaggers, workers, or signage will not be tolerated.
To all drivers, please be patient. Delays and detours can be frustrating, but great work is being done in the City of Kingston for accessibility, beautification, and quality of life for residents.
Service installation with full services to be completed on East Chester Street, Hoffman Street and Pearl St Street.
Empire State Trail
Crews are currently working on the trail on Greenkill Avenue, and expect to have that section paved by July 31. The widening on the west side of Route 32 has been delayed. The driveways on the East side of Route 32 should be completed in the next two weeks.
Traffic patterns at the roundabout construction area will switch to Stage 2B on Monday, July 27. Traffic will now travel on the north side of Broadway, with some minor changes to the intersection. Sewer work down East St. James will be completed the end of this week. Sewer work will then start the week of August 3 on the Broadway slip ramp. Drainage installation will occur from July 27 to August 7 close to the intersection, and will create some delays.
This week gutter was installed from Greenkill Avenue toward the YMCA. Curbing was installed past Henry St. to near Liberty. Bioswales installation began, and preparation work for paver installation next week. Next week, weather depending, paver installation will start from the YMCA heading west, and more sidewalk is scheduled to be installed, as well as signal pole bases.
Ignoring road work signage can endanger yourself and work crews
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
, 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.