Residents of Toronto are being invited to get involved in its Participatory Budgeting (PB) pilot program at upcoming information and ideas meetings in three areas – Ward 33, the Oakridge neighbourhood in Ward 35 and Rustic neighbourhood in Ward 12. Meetings begin September 8 in the Oakridge community.
Meeting dates, times and locations for the three areas are available at http://www.toronto.ca/
Each of the three areas has $250,000 to spend this year on community improvements, with funds allocated through the City’s capital budget. Residents are encouraged to share and develop ideas for community improvement projects. All persons aged 14 years of age or older and who live in the pilot areas are eligible to vote for the winning projects. The City will build each project within 18 months of the vote.
In order to be eligible for consideration as part of the PB pilot, project ideas must be located on City-owned property, benefit the public and have a long-term impact on the community.
The City will be collecting ideas at the public meetings and online until September 30. In October neighbours will work together to shortlist projects for the final ballot. Voting will take place in November and December.
This is the second year of the three-year PB pilot. In 2015, there were seven winning projects, worth a total of $435,000, including park improvements, bike lockers and neighbourhood beautification.
As a pilot project, the City will be assessing the opportunities, benefits and challenges of participatory budgeting and will report to Council in 2018 on the results and evaluation of the pilot. – CINEWS