LINCOLN SQUARE — North Center, Ravenswood and Lincoln Square neighbors can help decide how to spend city money set aside for neighborhood projects as this year’s participatory budget process kicks off.
The 47th Ward participatory budget process starts Monday. Each year, the city allocates about $1 million to each of the city’s 50 aldermen to be used for infrastructure projects in their wards.
Typically, an alderman has complete discretion on how the money will be spent, but some City Council members like Ald. Matt Martin (47th) invite neighbors to have a say in how a portion of that money will be spent.
This year, Martin is setting aside up to $250,000 from the ward’s 2021 and 2022 infrastructure funds to be voted on. From May 10-17, any 47th ward resident age 14 or older is invited to vote on how they should be spent.
Voting is offered both online, and in person at at Sulzer Library, 4455 N. Lincoln Ave., and at one retirement community.
“We got 1,500 votes in one week last time we did this,” said Josh Mark, Martin’s director of development and infrastructure.
The projects on this year’s ballot were suggested and vetted by members of the 47th Ward Youth Council. The projects include:
• $100,000 for curb extensions at Ashland and Ainslie and Damen and Belle Plaine
• $100,000 for curb extensions at Montrose and Seeley and Addition and Claremont
• $65,000 for pedestrian and cyclist safety items around the Welles park field house.
• $54,000 for water fountains at Revere Park
• $40,000 for additional trees
To register to vote on these projects click here.
Members of the youth council will also be among the volunteers manning in-person voting booths, Mark said.
“We’ll get as many volunteers as we can for people who don’t have access to the internet can vote on paper,” Mark said. “The youth council’s participation is the most exciting part of this.”
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