Applications to the Neighborhood Projects Fund (NPF) are due on February 1, 2012.
I would like to take a moment to strongly encourage neighborhood leaders to apply. This fund provides a great opportunity to tackle projects that create community, and to promote all kinds of projects, including things like neighborhood greenways.
The NPF can be used for projects valued up to $90,000 to fund park or street improvements. Here are some examples:
- Playground improvements
- Pathway upgrades
- Neighborhood Greenways!
- Accessibility improvements
- Traffic circles
- Traffic calming
- School zone speed limit signs
Who decides which projects will be funded?
Each District Council reviews applications and chooses three projects.
Then the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Seattle Parks and Recreation (Parks) perform detailed feasibility and cost analyses and provide feedback.
The City makes its funding decisions based on recommendations from District Councils, Parks and SDOT, with the final decision made by the Mayor.
What do District Councils look for?
District Councils looking for projects that will have a widespread positive impact on the neighborhood as a whole and that have the support of multiple neighborhood or community groups. (Both residential and business groups are encouraged to apply.)
Recent examples of projects funded by the NPF include the reconfiguration of the dicey intersection of NE 55th Street, Ravenna Boulevard NE, and 22nd Avenue NE in Ravenna, and the replacement of bulky kiosks that blocked pedestrian traffic on Fifth Avenue downtown.
How do I propose a project?
Here are some tips for applying to the NPF:
- Get community buy-in: Go to your community council, talk to your neighbors, make sure your project aligns with the priorities of your neighborhood.
- Have a big picture: Use your Neighborhood Plan as a reference. This fund is great for implementing things that are already on your plan.
- Understand the constraints: It’s not a lot of money, so make sure you ask for something that can be done within the budget. For example, the Greater Duwamish District includes four neighborhoods, but the neighborhoods work together so that one at a time can apply for the fund, rather than all four asking for a quarter of the total available. They cooperate to leverage the funds.