April 12, 2019 - In This Issue:
A Message From Mayor Steve Noble:

Dear Friends,

As I watched videos from Wednesday's Planning Board Public Hearing, I was moved by the passion and commitment of all who shared their thoughts on The Kingstonian, a proposed mixed use project in Uptown. It was clear that every person who spoke did so because they love our community. Like with any major issue, we have a lot of tough conversations ahead of us. But like so many times before, I believe that our city will continue to grow stronger, not in spite of these different perspectives, but because of them.

Our city has diverse needs. As Mayor, I have sought to respond to those needs through a comprehensive approach. When we submitted our second DRI application, we meticulously studied the grant, as well our Comprehensive Plan, Parks and Recreation Master Plan, various transportation plans, housing studies, historic data, health research, and job studies. As you know, that work resulted in our successful DRI application, which proposed a variety of projects to respond to a wide array of issues and needs cited in the above plans. For example, the Dietz Stadium and Andretta Pool Project is a vital part of advancing the strategies set forth in our Parks and Recreation Master Plan. It will also allow us to attract major events that will benefit our city as a whole. We included both the preservation of the Frog Alley Ruins and the restoration of the Volunteer Firemen's museum in an effort to protect our valuable historic assets. And we included a mixed use project in the heart of Uptown to address the severe parking shortage, to develop more public recreational space, and to increase density, as recommended in our Comprehensive Plan.
The Kingstonian is a major project - there's no question about it - and it is going to spur a lengthy and robust dialogue. The concerns brought forward during this process are important and will not only inform and shape this project, but also serve as a guide for our community as we continue to navigate key issues such as housing, transportation, employment, and more going forward.

I hope that the community's engagement with regards to affordable housing will continue beyond this project. The Kingston Planning Board, the same body that held the Kingstonian meeting, will be holding another public meeting on April 22 regarding Landmark Place - a project that would add 66 affordable housing units to our community by adapting and revitalizing a beautiful historic building. And I hope you will all stand with me to welcome Energy Square, with its 57 units of affordable housing, when it opens its doors next year. I am happy to say that Governor Clinton Apartments and the Yosman Towers are getting much-needed renovations.
Let me be clear: we still need more quality affordable housing in our community. Through the development of our new Kingston City Land Bank, bolstered by a $3 million grant we secured last year, we have the opportunity to make a real impact. But creating affordable housing is only one piece of this complex puzzle.
Too many of our neighbors are struggling with or at-risk of homelessness or are living in unsafe or unsanitary conditions. I am committed to finding effective ways to hold landlords responsible when they are not addressing issues of safety, without putting tenants at further risk of losing their housing. As the Common Council wraps up their Housing Hearings, we will begin to discuss bringing forth meaningful legislation to respond and proactively address the common issues that have been raised. I believe that we can protect and expand the rights of tenants and support our local property owners and responsible landlords.

I have heard the concerns from voices across our City, and I want you to know that I am listening. My administration will be addressing these issues. In fact, right now, the City is working on its next Consolidated Plan, which includes its Fair Housing Plan. We want community input. In just a couple of weeks, I will be hosting a strategy session to discuss Fair Housing policies and procedures with local organizations.
I know we have work to do. I am dedicated to working with the community to  achieve these goals. 


City of Kingston Land Bank Community Survey 
We believe everyone has the right to a safe, affordable, and high-quality place to live. Therefore, the mission of the Kingston City Land Bank is to foster an equitable community where vacant or distressed properties are transformed into community assets that improve the quality of life for Kingston residents, stabilize and enhance neighborhoods, and create new pathways for social and economic development.

The KCLB  currently   has  a portfolio of 36 properties  in the City of Kingston in its possession and is determining how it will sell or transfer these properties (this is called our "disposition policy.").  The KCLB needs your feedback to determine the disposition rules that best serve your needs and that of the community at large.

Do you know of a property that is distressed in your neighborhood? Check to see if it is on the map of properties being acquired by the city and let us know what you think by filling out our disposition policy survey.  ( En espanol aqui).  The survey is open until May 31, 2019. 

For more information, visit  kingstoncitylandbank.com

Public Comment Open for CDBG Consolidated Plan

As a part of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the City is now seeking input on the proposed Five-Year Consolidated Plan, which includes a Fair Housing Plan.

Every year, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides Federal funding to the City of Kingston through the CDBG program. This funding is for housing and community development programs and initiatives that benefit low-and moderate-income persons. In order to receive this funding, the City of Kingston must prepare a Five-year Consolidated Plan, which includes a Fair Housing Plan - an analysis of impediments to fair housing, a plan to address these impediments, and must maintain records of background information and its fair housing activities.

The proposed Consolidated Plan includes: 
- Assessment of housing and community development needs, including housing rehabilitation, rental assistance, home ownership opportunities, public improvements, neighborhood revitalization, economic development, special 
-  Assessment of market and inventory conditions 
-  Assessment of housing and community development priorities
-  A five-year strategy and one-year plan of actions to address housing and community development needs

From April 5-May 5, the Consolidated Plan, Fair Housing Plan and Annual Action plan are available for public review and comment: 

Fair Housing Plan - Analysis of Impediments

Paper copies are available for review at the City of Kingston Office of Economic and Community Development located at City Hall at 420 Broadway. Written comments can also be addressed to the same office. 

More information at:  https://kingston-ny.gov/news/?FeedID=903    

Parks & Recreation Announces Grand Opening for New Disc Golf Course 
   Uptown and Midtown Participatory Budgeting Funds for Beautification and Youth Programming
In the 2018 Participatory Budgeting, Midtown and Uptown Kingston voted to allocate each of their $15,000 in funding toward neighborhood beautification  through youth programming. The vision has now been realized with Beautifying and Restoring Kingston (BARK), which will be run by the YMCA Farm Project team, and will employ teens to work on beautification projects in Uptown and Midtown. BARK, whose name was conceived and chosen by the teens themselves, will run three seasonal crews: Spring (April 15-June 27), Summer (July 1-August 30) & Fall (September 1-November 1), and will rotate its team members. Orientation has begun for the first crew, which includes ten students from Kingston High School.

Starting April 15, the first crew will be working in Midtown on Mondays from 2:30-6:30pm. Projects will include planting flowers along Pine Grove esplanade, painting utility boxes, and renewing Van Buren Park. Their "Trash Club Kingston" will do litter sweeps on Mondays, led by Stephen Kennedy from Turn Up the Beet. 

On Thursdays, the crew will work in Uptown from 2:30-5:30pm. Project ideas, with help from KUBA members, include maintaining 22 planters in Uptown and remediating the bioswales on N. Front Street. The crew will also be participating in Clean Sweep on May 4. 

Hamilton & Adams designed and donated t-shirts for the BARK team - if you see them out working, say hello! 

BARK participants at the Hudson Valley Bee Habitat
  Furnace Street Named  Junie Harris Way  
The City of Kingston has honored long-time public servant Junious Harris by adding the name "Junie Harris Way" to Furnace Street, where Harris lived for 52 years. Harris was one of the first African-American police officers in the City of Kingston, serving for 30 years (1963 to 1993). He was known for being a kind and generous person, and an inspiration to the children in his neighborhood.
Harris graduated Kingston High School in 1951 and served in the Air Force during the Korean War before becoming a police officer and then a special investigator for the Ulster County District Attorney's Office. Harris served on the Kingston Board of Police Commissioners after his retirement. He received many awards, including the Police Honor Award for Meritorious Police Service, the Gold Valor Award, the Silver Merit Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Police Chiefs Association of Ulster County. Junie died Jan. 20, 2018 at the age of 86.

I will be attending a ribbon cutting ceremony with Junie Harris's family and friends, Ward 4 Alderwoman Rita Worthington, and any community members who want to join, on Friday, May 3 at 4:00pm.

   Pauline Oliveros Exhibition at City Hall

The Opening Reception for the Pauline Oliveros: Still Listening in Kingston Exhibition at City Hall on Saturday was a huge success . Visitors were treated to several aural performances as well as the visual art works hanging in our ground floor gallery space. All of the works are representation of sounds, and are inspired by the late local composer, Pauline Oliveros. 

Pauline Oliveros: Still Listening in Kingston will be on display until June 28, 2019 during regular City Hall hours (8:30am-4:30pm). For more information, please visit www.kingston-ny.gov/exhibitions.

Photo by Stefan Lisowski
Kingston Happenings
The City of Kingston often receives requests to share upcoming events happening in our community. Our partners at 
KingstonHappenings.org  do an excellent job of centralizing this community information. So while our website is the best resource to gain information about City of Kingston sponsored events and important municipal information, Kingston Happenings can give you a greater preview of community events. Check them out today!
Sent on behalf of:
Mayor Steven T. Noble

The purpose of this newsletter is to share important information, project updates, pictures and news from the City of Kingston. For more detailed information, visit: