May 18, 2018 - In This Issue:
A Message From Mayor Steve Noble:
I am proud to announce that the City of Kingston
was selected as a second place winner of the New York State Conference of Mayors' (NYCOM) Local Government Achievement Awards. We received this honor in recognition of the strong partnership we have built with the Kingston City School District. This partnership continues to grow every day, with new opportunities to collaborate and new challenges to overcome. Over the next few months, we will be discussing yet another potential opportunity- the transfer of Dietz Stadium from a 50/50 ownership model to full ownership by the City. I look forward to working with the leadership of the school district to develop a proposed agreement that ensures our students and greater community significantly benefit from this transition.
This week's issue also has some information and reminders about recycling in the City of Kingston. As many of you are aware, the Ulster County Resource and Recovery Agency (UCRRA) has made reference to proposals that, if approved, will significantly impact our community. In addition to the Agency's proposal to double recycling fees mid-year, the Agency is considering discontinuing its acceptance of Single Stream Recycling. The Agency has announced an informational public meeting, to be held on Wednesday, May 23rd at 5:00pm at the Ulster County Legislative Chambers, 6th Floor, 244 Fair Street in Kingston. They have also scheduled a Public Hearing on this proposal, though a proposal or resolution has yet to be made publicly available, on Thursday, June 14th at 5:00pm, also at the Ulster County Legislative Chambers. I will be attending both of these meetings and strongly encourage all of you to consider attending as well.
As part of this process, I recently attended a meeting of the Ulster County Legislature's Energy and Environment Committee to voice my concerns about these proposals. You can listen to the entire meeting here and can listen specifically to my comments at
the 1 hour and 22 minute mark. As you will hear, the issue is much larger than whether we have single stream or dual stream recycling- we are on the brink of an international environmental crisis. While Single Stream Recycling may be the focus today, the fact is that no matter how recycling is collected, there are fewer places for the recycled materials to go at the moment. Whereas recycled materials used to be a valuable commodity, the market has shifted, at least temporarily. Two years ago when UCRRA was collecting increased revenue from recycled materials, discontinuing Single Stream Recycling was not up for discussion.
I firmly believe that recycling policy should not be dictated solely by market conditions. It is time for
the Ulster County Legislature to institute flow control for recyclables, call for the review, update and approval of the long-awaited Solid Waste Management Plan for Ulster County, and reestablish the Recycling Oversight Committee of the Legislature.
With all that said, we have work to do locally. Our recycling compliance over the past few months has declined, leading to more recyclables ending up in the trash stream (with taxpayers ultimately paying a higher rate because of it!) and warnings and fines being issued to property owners. This needs to change. Over the next few weeks, my staff will be working to ensure that every person in the City of Kingston knows how to effectively recycle. We will do this through education and, as necessary, enforcement. Prior to any property owner being issued a fine, staff issue a written warning with a list of items that are allowed and not allowed in the blue totes. We will also be mailing a bilingual flyer to every property in Kingston to remind us all what can and cannot go into the blue totes. I need your help. Have no doubt, I will continue to fight to maintain our Single Stream Recycling service. However, I need residents to use our recycling system appropriately, review the information we provide, and ask questions if anything is unclear.
This coming weekend includes a number of community activities all across the City, including
at the Lace Mill in Midtown and the
Relay for Life
at Dietz Stadium. In addition, I am honored to attend this Sunday's Annual Dockside Memorial Services at 2:00pm at Gallo Park. I look forward to seeing you at one of these events.
City of Kingston Receives
NYCOM Local Government Achievement Award
Mayor Steve Noble is pleased to announce the selection of the City of Kingston as a second place winner of the New York State Conference of Mayors' (NYCOM) Local Government Achievement Awards. The awards program, in its 31st year, recognized Kingston for the partnership the City has built with the Kingston City School District.
In commenting on the award in a prior release from NYCOM last week, NYCOM President James Miccio, Mayor of the Village of Fishkill, stated: "The City of Kingston is to be commended for its desire to assist the City's youth through innovation, partnerships and hard work. This project will improve the lives of children throughout Kingston and is just one example of how local officials continue to work diligently to enhance their communities and the services they provide to their residents. I would like to congratulate Mayor Noble on this tremendous accomplishment."
Mayor Noble is excited to share this recognition with our partners in the District, stating, "The foundation of this work between the City of Kingston and Kingston City School District is the shared principle that caring for our youth does not begin and does not end at the doors to each of our schools. By breaking down these silos, we are able to create an environment where young people are supported at every turn."
"Too often, politics and partisanship stop important progress," said Dr. Paul J. Padalino, Superintendent, Kingston City School District. "We're absolutely thrilled with the recognition that our strong working partnership with the City is being recognized for its benefits to the most vulnerable citizens and students of this community."
Specifically, the collaborative programming recognized by NYCOM this year includes:
- The establishment of a "Walking School Bus"- in Spring 2017, the school social worker of the George Washington Elementary School contacted City staff to express concern that many of the school's students were in need of safe and supervised after school programming, but lacked transportation to access the free after school program offered by the City at the nearby Everette Hodge Community Center. Recognizing this barrier, the City and School District partnered to launch the "Walking School Bus," a supervised walking route from the elementary school to the community center every school day.
- The offering of a free Summer Parks Meal Program- in Summer 2017, the City of Kingston partnered with the Kingston City School District to offer free summer meals at all four of its Summer Parks Programs. Access to summer meals is critically important, particularly for children who rely on the school district's breakfast and lunch programs during the school year.
- The launch of a joint Attendance Matters campaign- in Fall 2017, staff of the City of Kingston and the Kingston City School District collaborated to create a campaign to raise awareness of the impact that school truancy and absence has on academic performance, health and wellness, and student success. In addition to producing a popular video, the partnership resulted in the placement of "Attendance Mentors" at the City's two youth centers. Each Attendance Mentor builds relationships with the students at the youth centers and works to identify and address issues impacting the student's attendance at school.
- The expansion of homeless and at-risk youth outreach programs- City staff and social workers from the Kingston City School District collaborate on a regular basis to provide direct service and referrals for youth and families struggling with homelessness and food insecurity. Since the City operates two active youth centers, on-site staff can facilitate the distribution of essential needs such as hygiene products, clothing, food, and laundry detergent in a discreet manner that protects the youth's privacy and dignity.
One of the long-term outcomes from this partnership has been the launch of the Franklin Street Revitalization Project. This initiative was established in part as a result of the increased use of Franklin St. as a walking route from the George Washington Elementary School to the City's Everette Hodge Community Center. Over the past year, Mayor Noble has outreached to other community partners to develop a comprehensive approach to supporting individuals and families living on Franklin St. In addition to securing $750,000 from the DEC Climate Smart Communities Program through the NYS Consolidated Funding Application to replace an entire mile of sidewalk on Franklin St., project components include: exterior renovations at the Kingston Library, located at the corner of Franklin St. and Prospect St.; an upgrade to a commercial kitchen at the Everette Hodge Community Center to facilitate the preparation by Family of Woodstock, Inc. of children's meals during the school year and summer; renovation of three city-owned homes along Franklin St. to be sold to first time homebuyers; lead service line replacements for residential properties along Franklin St. and surrounding neighborhoods; the establishment of Radio Kingston near the corner of Franklin St. and Broadway; and expanded efforts to address zombie properties.
"I also want to congratulate this year's first place winner, the City of Poughkeepsie," continued Mayor Noble. "We are fortunate to live in a region where we have great working relationships with our sister cities and where we can learn from each other."
City of Kingston Department of Public Works Reminds Property Owners of Recycling Rules
The City of Kingston's Department of Public Works wishes to remind property owners of rules and regulations related to recycling in the City of Kingston. Over the past few weeks, hundreds of property owners have been cited for refuse (trash) materials found in the blue recycling bins provided to each property.
By including refuse in the blue bins, the recycled materials can become contaminated, resulting in the materials not being collected and the property owner being fined after a written warning. The fine is $85 for each instance of non-compliance.
Here are examples of items that are
in the blue totes:
- Milk/Fruit Juice Cartons
- Plastic Bottles, Tubs, Jugs and Jars (#1-#7, such as yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.)
- Glass Bottles, Aluminum Cans & Jars- Please rinse prior to recycling
- Lids from glass bottles & jars if separated from item
- Paper Egg Cartons
- Thin Cardboard Boxes (cereal, pasta, crackers, etc.)
- Corrugated Cardboard and Paper Bags
- Newspapers, Magazines, Catalogs, Junk Mail & Office Paper
- Hard backed books and phone books
- Wrapping paper
- Greeting cards
- Shoe boxes
- Tissue boxes
Here are examples of items that are NOT ALLOWED in the blue totes:
- Pizza Boxes or any soiled cardboard
- Plastic Bags from shopping centers- many supermarkets will recycle these bags if returned!
- Shredded paper
- Light Bulbs
- Bedding, Sheets, Pillows
- Plastic Toys
- Storage Totes
- Scrap Metal
- Coated paper or plastics
- Plastic film or wrappers (packing or food)
- Condiment Packages
- Produce Baskets
- Latex & Plastic Gloves
- Flower Vases
- Drinking Glasses
- Windows/Broken Glass
- Potato Chip Bags
- Black Microwavable Plastic Containers
- Automotive Fluid Bottles
- Prescription Bottles
- Foil Pie Plates
- Any other trash items
The support of all property owners will allow the City to continue to be a leader in recycling efforts in the region and to reduce the amount of money spent on refuse tipping fees and contaminated recycling fines. To assist property owners, a bilingual informational flyer with recycling instructions and tips will be mailed in the coming weeks. For additional information on refuse and recycling pick up and other services, contact the Department of Public Works at 845-338-2114. To learn more about recycling education efforts in Kingston, contact the Environmental Educator at 845-481-7336.
Check out the informational flyer below, produced by ReCommunity, the facility that receives the recycled material from the Ulster County Resource and Recovery Agency:
Update on Dietz Stadium
On Tuesday, May 15th, voters in the Kingston City School District overwhelmingly approved
Proposition 4 - Conveyance of Dietz Stadium to the City of Kingston. Currently, the City of Kingston and the Kingston City School District each have 50% ownership of the Stadium. While the proposition was approved, this did not automatically transfer ownership to the City. Instead, it gives the Board of Education the opportunity to discuss the issue and hold a vote on whether or not to transfer ownership.
One of the reasons ownership is being discussed is because of a wonderful opportunity that has been presented to the City of Kingston.
In September of 2017, Governor Andrew Cuomo awarded the Kingston with a $10 million grant for the Uptown Stockade District through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The funding and investments provided by the grant are intended to boost the local economy and generate new opportunities for long-term growth. A Kingston Local Planning Committee made up of municipal representatives, community leaders, and other stakeholders identified improvements to Dietz Stadium as a top priority for receiving grant funds. It was also the top rated project in a public survey. However, implementing major capital projects within the current 50/50 ownership of Dietz Stadium is complex due to various limitations on the NYS Education Department procurement practices; full ownership by the City would alleviate those challenges.
Proposed work to be accomplished using this grant funding includes:
- New or refurbished locker rooms and bathrooms
- Upgraded / modernized food vending facility
- New visitor bleachers
- Refurbished press box
- Resurfaced parking lot and replace lighting
- Outdoor water fountains
- Stadium Wi-Fi for visitors
- Bike Racks
- Stadium Signage
- New grandstand sound and PA systems
- On-site storage shed
View the Draft Project Summaries for all "DRI" proposed projects here. Upgrades to Dietz Stadium can be found on pages 23-33.
Both Mayor Noble and Superintendent Padalino agree that student use of Dietz Stadium must continue to be a top priority. The improvements to the stadium could also mean student use of the stadium would be expanded. In recent years, the Kingston City School District has not be able to host certain interscholastic athletic competitions, as neighboring school districts with superior facilities have been selected.
Prior to their vote, the Board of Education and the City will sign a new legal contract assuring the KCSD retains priority for student use, similar to the agreement that currently exists. The public will be provided with updates as discussions on this topic continue.
City of Kingston Participates in Bike to Work Week
Mayor Noble and Emily Flynn, Director of Health and Wellness for the City of Kingston, both rode their bikes every day.
Staff of the City of Kingston enjoyed participating in the 2018 Bike-to-Work Week this past week. A friendly community contest, led by
, challenged individuals, community groups and businesses to bike to work and track their cumulative bicycling mileage over the week. Five City employees participated, logging over 32 trips and biking over 50 miles throughout the week!
City of Kingston Filing of the
2018 Tentative Assessment Roll
The City of Kingston Assessor has filed the Tentative Assessment Roll for 2018.
About Assessed Values:
A property's assessed value is a measure of its market value based on the prior July 1st. Property in the City of Kingston is assessed at 100% of market value.
What can impact Assessed Values?:
- New construction
- Fire damage
- Adjusting for Market Value
The actions or circumstances described above typically result in a review of an assessment and may result in an increase or decrease of assessed value.
About Assessed Values in the City of Kingston:
Over the past two valuation periods (7/1/15 thru 6/30/16) and (7/1/16 thru 6/30/17) the City of Kingston's commercial real estate market showed consistent positive growth when analyzing property sales compared to their assessments. This upward commercial value trend has been consistent throughout the entire City of Kingston's commercial market.
Values in portions of the residential real estate market have also seen growth. These positives residential values appeared in the Uptown, Stockade, Downtown, and Hutton Park neighborhoods.
Any property receiving a change in assessed value (Positive or Negative) or exemption status change will be mailed a notice. Included in this notice will be the amount of assessment change, any exemptions on the property, when and where you can view the assessment roll and what to do if you disagree with your assessment. The entire Tentative Assessment Roll may also be reviewed online at:
or by clicking "Assessment Roll" on the City of Kingston's website's homepage.
City of Kingston Launches
Lead Service Line Replacement Program in Midtown
Applications now available!
Mayor Steve Noble is pleased to announce the launch of the City of Kingston's Lead Service Line Replacement Program. The City was awarded a grant of up to $544,000 from the NYS Department of Health to identify and replace lead water service lines from the City's main to homeowners' water meters. While the City of Kingston drinking water does not contain lead, the corrosion of lead pipes can cause lead to leach into water flowing through the pipes in a home and potentially into drinking water. If a service line was last installed prior to 1940, it is likely that service line was made with lead. It is anticipated that the City will replace lead service lines in approximately 85 properties in 2018 and 2019.
The initial priority area will be properties in Midtown Kingston where there is a high density of lead service lines and a high density of children. Properties located on any part of Franklin St. and properties from Franklin St. to Cedar St. between Broadway and Clinton Avenue may apply. Households with a child under the age of six (6) that has tested positive for elevated blood lead levels may apply, even if their property is outside of the target area. Properties may be single family owner-occupied properties or rental properties.
The Lead Service Line Replacement Program will be free to most owner-occupied properties. Non-owner occupied rental properties are eligible for assistance, but owners will be required to contribute $750.00 towards the cost of the project.
Applications will be available beginning April 23, 2018 and will be accepted until May 22, 2018. Once an application has been submitted, the City can verify if the property has an eligible lead service line. Most replacement projects will be completed within one to two days. Water service will need to be turned off during the replacement project. Advanced notice will be provided prior to this service disruption. It is expected that the first round of lead service replacement projects will begin in mid-July 2018 and will continue throughout the remainder of the year and in 2019.
Applications may be found at
. For additional assistance, please contact Stephan Knox in the City of Kingston's Office of Economic and Community Development at 845-334-3932 or at
City of Kingston and Kingston Veterans Association to Host Annual Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade on Monday, May 28th
Parade registration now open!
Location: Veterans' Park in front of City Hall, 420 Broadway
Time: Line up at Noon; step off at 1:45pm
Location: Step off begins at Andrew St.
The City of Kingston and Kingston Veterans Association will host the annual Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade on Monday, May 28th. The ceremony will begin promptly at 1:00pm in Veterans' Park in front of City Hall, located at 420 Broadway. At 1:45pm, the Memorial Day Parade will step off from Andrew St. and proceed along Broadway towards Uptown Kingston.
Businesses and organizations interested in participating in the parade should contact: Parade Chairman Chuck Polacco at (845) 389-1560 or (845) 331-7722 or Kingston Veterans Association Chairman Bill Forte at (845) 339-1486. Parade registration is free.
Save the Date and Exhibitor Registration Information
Join us for our 13th Annual Midtown Make a Difference Day on Saturday, June 16th, 11:00am-3:00pm, on Franklin Street!
Midtown Make a Difference Day is a free event open to all community members. The event includes food, music, children's activities, fitness workshops, and much more!
Local not for profits and community groups are encouraged to register as exhibitors at the event and to provide information and interactive activities on a variety of topics including health, education, employment, legal, recreation and more. Exhibitor registration, which is free, is now open and can be completed at:
. To download the registration form instead,
This free event is made possible thanks to the work of partnering agencies and volunteers, as well as community sponsors. If you are interested in volunteering or serving as a sponsor, please contact Megan Weiss-Rowe at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 845-334-3964.
Next Planning Meeting
Individuals interested in helping to plan this community event can attend the next event planning meeting, scheduled for
Wednesday, May 23rd at 11:00am at the Everette Hodge Community Center.
The City of Kingston often receives requests to share upcoming events happening in our community. Our partners at
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!