Town Announces Selection of Projects for Second Year of Participatory Capital Budgeting Program
May 23, 2023
ANDOVER, MA - The Town of Andover has announced the selection of eleven projects that will be funded through the FY2023 Participatory Capital Budgeting program. The program, currently in its second year, allows residents to weigh in on how a designated portion of the Town’s capital funds should be spent by submitting proposals for projects or programs in the community.
Residents were invited to submit capital project suggestions for the second year of the program from October 2022 through January 2023. The Town conducted extensive public outreach to generate proposals during the application period. A total of 41 project applications were submitted through this process. To be eligible for funding, projects were required to be one-time expenses, and to be on Town property or have a municipal purpose.
Following the January 15 submission deadline, proposals were reviewed by a committee comprised of Town staff representing Purchasing, Community Development & Planning, Community Services, Public Works, Facilities, Library, Police, Fire, Sustainability and Veterans Services. Projects were evaluated to assess their safety, feasibility, cost, and benefit to the Town.
The eleven projects selected by the committee range in estimated cost from $500 to about $10,000, and include signage and traffic calming infrastructure to improve pedestrian safety in key areas, new amenities in public parks throughout Town, and even a pollinator garden. The projects represent a total estimated investment of $53,000, funded through a combination of general funds appropriated by Town Meeting as part of the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
|Project Title/Description||Submitter||Estimated Budget|
|Public Drinking Fountains in the Park||Margot Dillon||$10,000|
|Park Gazebo Lighting||Sharon Marlow||$500|
|Bicycle Repair Station at Lower Shawsheen Track||Andrew Lewine||$2,000|
|Stream and River Signs||Michael Dempsey||$2,000|
|Park Canon Signage||Robert C. Rogers||$2,000|
|Main Street Crosswalk Lighting||Gisella Spreizer||$10,392|
|Pollinator Garden||Sue Curtis||$10,000|
|Speed Signage/Traffic Calming on Central Street||Judy Wilson Ferstenberg & Sara Hidalgo||$10,392|
|Accessible Outdoor Game Tables||Barbara Burke||$5,000|
|York & Haverhill Street Flashing Beacons||Caroline Cranshaw||$10,392|
In the program’s first year, approximately $40,000 was dedicated to ten resident-proposed projects. Most of the projects approved in the program’s first round have been completed by Town departments in recent months and have already begun to have a positive impact on the community.
From the Memorial Hall Library’s “Library of Things,” to public WiFi in The Park, projects funded through the Participatory Capital Budgeting process are being enjoyed by Andover residents on a daily basis. The program has proven to be an effective tool in enhancing resident engagement in the Town’s budget process, a priority of the Town’s Finance and Budget Department.
“The introduction of participatory capital budgeting has allowed residents to engage directly in the capital planning process by identifying projects that will produce a benefit to the community, developing a proposal, and working with the Town through implementation,” said CFO Patrick Lawlor. “In the initial years of this program, dozens of thoughtful and innovative projects have been put forward by the community. We are hopeful that this program will continue to expand and drive participation in the budget process as residents observe its impact throughout the community.”
Updates on the implementation of FY23 projects will be posted on the Participatory Capital Budgeting webpage, which also contains information on how to access, enjoy, or view projects funded in the FY2022 program year.
The Town’s Capital Improvement Program for FY 2024, approved by Town Meeting on May 1, contains an additional appropriation for the Participatory Capital Budgeting program for next fiscal year. The project submission period is expected to open next winter, so stay tuned for the next opportunity to submit your project proposals, and start gathering ideas.