July 10, 2020 - In This Issue:
A Message From Mayor Steve Noble:

Dear Friends,

This week, I was pleased to sign a resolution for  Police Accountability guidelines, which includes transparent guidelines for the appointment process of the Police Commission; creating training requirements for the Commissioners; and improving the Commission's complaint process.  The guidelines will now go to the Police Commission to be put into practice. 

Having these guidelines in place is a step forward toward transparency and trust.
It has been a long road to passing these guidelines, but I am grateful that, as a community, we have made this happen. This resolution is proof that when we work together, we can enact meaningful change. 

The conversations about law enforcement-community relations is far from over. Read on to find out more about the Re-envision Public Safety Task Force. 

A few other notes: 
  • I wrote this week to President Trump (here) and to Senator Schumer (here) asking for Federal Aid to help our City get through this economic crisis. I want the City of Kingston to not only survive this epidemic, but also thrive well beyond, which will require direct Federal Aid to help us recover. 
  • The Kingston City School District has revised its Summer Meals Program schedule. See updates here.
  • The Ulster County IDA will be offering grants up to $5,000 for businesses to purchase PPE. Applications will open on Wednesday. More info here
  • County Executive Pat Ryan is encouraging everyone in Ulster County to get a COVID-19 test next week, regardless of whether you are experiencing symptoms or think you have been in contact with a positive case.
Thank you to everyone for staying diligent as we open back up. Please continue to stay safe, and take care. 
City of Kingston Forms  "Re-envision Public Safety Task Force" 

Mayor Noble, in cooperation with the Common Council and the community, is in the process of creating the "Re-envision Public Safety Task Force" to further address law enforcement-community relations, use-of-force policies, procedural justice, systemic racial bias, and practices that may contribute to racial disparity in the community, among other issues. 

In accordance with Governor Cuomo's Executive Order, the task force will "perform a comprehensive review of current police force deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices, and develop a plan to improve such deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices, for the purposes of addressing the particular needs of the communities served by such police agency and promote community engagement to foster trust, fairness, and legitimacy, and to address any racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color."

The Re-envision Public Safety Task Force will review and collect new, innovative recommendations and modernizations and provide a concrete plan, which will be presented to the public for comment, and which must be ratified by April 1, 2021. 

"Part of making real change is being able to dismantle ideas and concepts that we've previously taken for granted," said Mayor Noble. "I commend the Governor for asking each municipality to take a long look at how policing is done in our own communities, and to boldly rethink what is best for all who we serve and protect." 

More information and updates can be found at https://kingston-ny.gov/policeaccountability
Dining and Retail Outdoor Expansion Program in Effect 

The City of Kingston's  Dining and Retail Outdoor Expansion Program is in effect, which allows businesses to utilize public areas to create more physical space for operation.  
The following businesses have opted into the program:
Rough Draft Bar & Books - utilizing two parking stalls for tables
Stockade Tavern - utilizing three parking stalls for outdoor dining
Ship to Shore Bistro - utilizing four parking stalls for expanded outdoor dining, and Sunday road closure
Savona's Trattoria - utilizing four parking stalls for expanded outdoor dining
Additional businesses wishing to expand into public space should contact the Mayor's office to request specific areas, including parking stalls, street access or other common public space at rverspoor@kingston-ny.gov or 845-334-3902. .
A survey for residents and participating business owners helped to inform this program. Results of both surveys can be found here
Kingston City Land Bank Announces First Acquisitions

The City of Kingston  and the Kingston City Land Bank (KCLB) are pleased to announce that the Land Bank has completed the purchase of three vacant homes from the City of Kingston. The homes will be renovated and returned to the City's tax rolls at full value once completed.
With this first acquisition, the KCLB has purchased three homes: 248 Main Street, 174 Hasbrouck Avenue, and 64 Van Buren Street from the City of Kingston for the full value of unpaid real estate taxes. As a part of this Phase I of the KCLB's program, a total of five homes are scheduled to be purchased and then renovated with funding provided by Enterprise Community Partners. Requests for Proposals for the construction renovation contracts will be posted on the KCLB's website when available.
Once construction is complete, the homes will be sold to families earning at or below 100% of the Area Median Income in Ulster County. Currently, this limit for a family size of four is a gross household income of $83,700. Sales will be made through a public application process, details of which will be available at  https://kingstoncitylandbank.org/
The Kingston City Land Bank was formed with the purpose of acquiring title to tax-foreclosed and other distressed properties in the City of Kingston, removing barriers to redevelopment and returning properties to the tax rolls. Its mission 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.

Metered Parking Will Resume on July 27 

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.
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.  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. 
Whoosh, the mobile parking app used by City of Kingston meters and kiosks, will be changing over to the Flowbird app on August 1, 2020. In order to pay for parking meters electronically, Whoosh will be available for until the changeover to Flowbird app is complete. All customer data such as vehicle, license plate and payment details, will be exported from Whoosh to Flowbird automatically. See https://flowbirdapp.com/ for download and user instructions.
Mayor Noble's Updates - Now Tuesday & Thursday

Mayor Noble has been live on Radio Kingston  daily  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.
Summer Enrichment Youth Programming 

The Summer Enrichment Program Network has begun youth respite services across City of Kingston facilities. The Summer Enrichment Network is a coalition of organizations working together to offer short-term, free or low-cost drop-in programs for youth who are struggling with the impact of COVID-19, in need of social interaction, educational assistance, skill building and support services.

Mayor Noble had the opportunity to drop in on the Center for Creative Education group at the Andy Murphy Neighborhood Center on Friday. These kids are doing a great job wearing masks and social distancing while participating in activities like meeting "The Reptile Man" and his reptilian friends. 

Thank you to all the organizations providing these  programs: Family of Woodstock, Inc, Center for Creative Education, Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, and Read and Write. They are making such a difference for these youth! More information and registration links   here
Broadway Streetscape Project 

Progress is being made on the  Broadway Streetscape Project! Just this week, the first sidewalks were laid along the southbound side of Broadway. Once the sidewalks are complete all the way from St James Street to Grand Street, trees will be planted along the corridor. Sidewalk construction will then begin on the northbound side of Broadway in the same fashion. 

Check back for more on this project and construction at  https://kingston-ny.gov/broadwaystreetscapeproject
Fresh sidewalks near the YMCA
Safe and Accessible Flatbush and Foxhall Project

The Safe and Accessible Flatbush and Foxhall Avenues project aims to improve pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure that connects the Colonial Gardens Apartments and residential streets in Midtown to surrounding business districts.

Repairs and upgrades will be made from the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Colonial Drive to Foxhall Avenue and Broadway, which have  intermittent sidewalks and railroad crossings that are hazardous for pedestrians and cyclists. Approx. two miles of sidewalks will be rehabilitated and painted crosswalks with ADA-compliant curb ramps will be installed.

The City will work with CSX at the two railroad crossings on the route to reduce the use of the tracks as a walking path. With dozens of new trees lining the way, pedestrians will naturally gravitate to the new sidewalks instead.  Connection will also be made to the Empire State Trail and the Kingston Greenline.

Visit EngageKingston.com to provide comments and feedback. With your input, the City will steer this project toward the community's preferred design to be constructed in 2022.
Downtown Revitalization Project Underway: Frog Alley

The first of the Downtown Revitalization Projects has gotten underway Uptown: the restoration of the Louw-Bogardus House at Frog Alley

The project is to stabilize the remnants of the historic Louw-Bogardus House and create a public open space along Frog Alley next to the ruins, which will serve as a gateway to the Uptown area. The Friends of Historic Kingston will open the site to the public after stabilizing the ruin and adding interpretive signage, paving, lighting, and park amenities.  

Friends of Historic Kingston has a released a wonderful video with a virtual tour of the Frog Alley Project. Watch the video here

More DRI project updates can be found here: https://www.kingston-ny.gov/dri
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

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: