The Austin Public Works Department has been assisting local neighborhood groups with proposed improvement projects through the Neighborhood Partnering Program since its launch in 2010.
The NPP helps local community groups through three separate programs, one of which is the Neighborhood Cost Share Program. This program helps community groups with logistics, funding, development and the construction of small- to medium-sized projects. Groups whose applications are accepted contribute to their project through cost sharing and maintenance. Cost-sharing is made through cash, donated materials, labor or volunteer hours, according to the city’s website. Before the city begins permitting and construction, the NPP works with a community group to finalize details and establish a partnership agreement, according to a press release.
In addition to the Adopt-A-Median Program and the Grant Assistance Program, the NPP intends to empower community groups to improve their neighborhoods, said Gina Fiandaca, assistant city manager for mobility, in the release.
“Over the past 10 years more than 70 projects have been completed,” Fiandaca said. “We’ve seen sidewalk gaps filled, pocket parks made and public art displayed.”
The project criteria includes being located on city-owned property or right of way, and being submitted by a local group, such as a neighborhood association or nonprofit. The project must also have support from those affected by it, be accessible to the public, and benefit the community. The four new projects are:
- The Davis/White Park trail lighting project will install five pole-mounted solar lights along the trail at Davis White Northeast neighborhood park. The Alliance for African American Health in Central Texas and the LBJ Neighborhood Association are partnering with the city. The neighborhood park and trail are located at 6705 Crystalbrook Drive, Austin. The estimated project budget is $34,125.
- The T.A. Brown Park improvements project will install exercise equipment, construct an accessible pathway and ramp, and add picnic tables and benches. The city is partnering with the Highland Neighborhood Association. The park is located at 520 Northway Drive, Austin. The estimated project budget is $149,961.
- The Clawson Road and Lightsey Road intersection beautification project will remove plastic posts and asphalt in the road, replacing them with concrete curbs. The South Lamar Neighborhood Association will oversee landscaping and maintenance. The estimated project budget is $44,440.
- The Whirlpool Patio Education Center project will add two tri-panel interpretive signs, educational activities and a climbable rock sculpture in the shape of a salamander. This partnership is with the Hill Country Conservancy. The Whirlpool Patio is located at the trailhead near Latta Drive and Convict Hill Road, Austin. The estimated project budget is $65,410.