The City of Greensboro is in the process of kicking off another round of participatory budgeting, which will be funded with $500,000 in the 2023-2024 fiscal year.

Participatory budgeting allocates $100,000 for each of the five City Council districts for projects and programs recommended by residents.

In the past, participatory budgeting has involved a number of meetings in each council district for residents to suggest projects and to review projects suggested by others.

However, in this the era of COVID-19, the latest round of participatory budgeting will involve a “virtual Kickoff and Community Workshop” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2.  You can participate here:

Those participating in the virtual workshop will learn how to get started on having a neighborhood project placed on the ballot for potential funding.

Like pretty much everything else in life, the participatory budgeting program has had a number of delays due to COVID restrictions, and during recent public forums at City Council meetings people have complained about participatory budgeting projects that have been approved but have yet to be funded.

You don’t have to attend the virtual community workshop to submit an idea for a program of a project for consideration.  However, the deadline to submit projects and programs is March 31.

Ideas that are proposed go through a process where they are developed into projects and placed on the ballot.  Residents who are 14 and older are allowed to vote on those projects and the projects that receive the most votes in a council district are then supposed to receive funding.

Greensboro kicked off the participatory budgeting process in 2015 and since then 73 projects have been approved by a vote of the residents. Some of the projects that have been approved in the past include bus shelters, bike racks, murals and park upgrades such as picnic tables, outdoor chess tables, play equipment and new cross walks.

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