On Tuesday night, Budget Delegates from the Environment, Health & Safety Committee met to review feedback they received from City staff the week before and to start planning further research and site visits. This committee has an interesting list of 142 ideas to consider. Projects range from drinking fountains to butterfly gardens to ideas to address homelessness in Cambridge.
The committee divided the list into five subcategories to help divide up the work among Budget Delegates: beautification, homelessness & affordable housing, public accommodations & water, public safety & lighting, and sustainability.
Among the many projects discussed on Tuesday night were a proposed community garden near Windsor and Lincoln Streets, installing water bottle fill stations in public buildings, placing iconic trash and recycling barrels in Central Square to encourage people to keep the area clean, and building upon the City’s recent Charrette on Homelessness to see how ideas submitted through Participatory Budgeting might fit in.
As the Delegates dig deeper into their research over the next few weeks, they decided to keep the following questions in mind:
- Does the idea qualify as a capital project?
- If ongoing maintenance is needed, can the City absorb it without adding staff?
- Which City department would own the project?
- Are any proposals already included in the City’s budget or plans?
- Would the project likely cost under $600,000, the amount allocated for this PB cycle?
- Which proposals could be bundled together?
- Do any of our proposals fit/mesh with other committees’ proposals?
- Does the project have a specific location(s)? Where? What communities would it serve?
- How can we identify the need for a project? Who are the constituents/stakeholders for that proposal? How can we reach out to them?
- Is there a way to involve the served constituents to bring costs down or provide ongoing maintenance for a project?
We’ll continue to post updates from the different Budget Delegate committees as proposal development work advances in October and November. Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the December 5-12, 2015 PB vote!