Fourteen improvement projects across 10 neighborhoods have been approved for funding through phase one of the 2019-2024 round of the Neighborhood Works program. Project applications vying for $600,000-$650,000 of available funding were evaluated by the Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC) then approved by the city manager in June.
First launched in 2016 and funded through the ¼-cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax, Neighborhood Works is intended to fund small-scale capital improvements within officially registered neighborhoods. The program gives residents the opportunity to identify projects they believe will offer the greatest benefit to their area including small-scale stormwater drainage improvements, sidewalk and trail connections, public parking and alleyway improvements and updates to parks. Individual projects are limited to $100,000 or less and must take place on City-owned property or right-of-way.
Recently approved projects range from larger ticket items such as pedestrian safety infrastructure, stormwater drainage and park equipment to smaller requests for community garden improvements and landscaping.
New this round, the NAC submitted a request for $24,000 to fund four speed boards to help reduce speeding on streets in registered neighborhoods. NAC Chair Rusty Worley presented this project idea to help tackle an issue all neighborhoods experience.
“The City’s Traffic Engineering division works with neighborhoods individually on speeding complaints. We have a limited number of speed boards we deploy on a regular basis to help measure the issue in individual areas,” explains Neighborhood Works program administrator Dawne Gardner. “The additional boards provided by the NAC will be dedicated to neighborhoods to share and rotate their use. With the availability of this equipment, data will be gathered in a more timely manner to hopefully facilitate a resolution.”
Public Works will relocate the speed boards for the neighborhoods at their request and analyze the data collected. Public Works expects to purchase the new equipment and deploy the boards beginning this fall.
The following projects were approved for Neighborhood Works funding.
Hillcrest/Nichols Pedestrian Safety and Accessibility Improvements – $78,000
Sidewalk and intersection improvements including radius improvements at the intersection of Hillcrest Avenue and Nichols Street, ADA sidewalk replacement on Hillcrest Avenue from Nichols Street to Brower Street and a concrete landing at the bus stop along Nichols Street near L.A. Wise Park. This project is anticipated for construction in spring 2022.
Improvements to Kirkwood Park – $99,000
Installation of new accessible playground equipment at Kirkwood Park (2201 E. Seminole), including rubber surfacing and concrete base. Playground equipment installation is expected in spring 2022.
Galloway Village Neighborhood
Galloway Village Neighborhood Intersection Improvements – $0
The project consists of repairing edges of the roadway and intersection at Mentor Avenue and Republic Road where large trucks and buses have caused damage. Public Works Street Operations crews will conduct the repair work and fund through the City’s regular roadway maintenance budget. Target for completion is fall.
Grant Beach Neighborhood
Richard Napieralski Community Garden Improvements – $3,810
Install a freeze-proof yard hydrant within the west end of the garden area and provide new water service. Target for installation is spring 2022.
Greater Parkcrest Neighborhood
Stormwater and Park improvements – $47,259
Requested park improvements include tennis court repairs and resurfacing as well as stormwater improvements including new concrete channel, manhole adjustments and watertight grate. Target for completion is spring/summer 2022.
Sanford Park Phase 2 – $52,741
New sidewalk connection from Battlefield Road to Sanford Park including lighting, new park signage and a bike rack. Target for completion is fall.
Mark Twain Neighborhood
Tree planting, landscaping and fence removal – $20,000
Planting of trees, shrubs, grasses and removal of fencing along City owned property in the southeast corner of Kansas Expressway and Sunshine Street. The target for project completion is spring 2022.
Alleyway Cleanup – $5,000
This project consists of removing overgrowth of vegetation in the alleys located in Midtown. The target timeframe is fall/winter.
Silver Springs Park Water Line – $270
Install a freeze-proof hose bib on the north wall of the Silver Springs Park pavilion. Work is expected to be complete by fall.
ADA Compliant Sidewalks and Ramps – $85,499
This project will rehabilitate and replace non-compliant sidewalks and curb ramps in the Rountree neighborhood in various locations along Kentwood Avenue, Fairway Avenue, Catalpa Street, Delmar Street and Weller Avenue. The timeframe for this project is spring 2022.
Updates to Tennis and Basketball Courts at Zagonyi Park – $5,872
This project includes repairs to the basketball court and installation of a new chain link fence. The tennis courts will also be striped to serve as pickleball courts. Target for project completion is fall.
Woodland Heights Neighborhood
Repair and restoration of Charlie Norr Community Center – $69,000
Project to repair the community center located at 310 W. Atlantic, including cleaning and replacing brick, tuckpoints, repairing storefront framing, window glazing and door. Target for completion is spring 2022.
Alley Grading and Pothole Repair – $25,000
This project consists of trash removal, grading and pothole repair of all alleyways in the Woodland Heights Neighborhood. Target for completion is fall/winter.
All leftover funds from projects selected in this phase will be carried over and added to the balance available for a second program funding cycle expected to take place in 202e.