Town Manager Norman Khumalo and Senior Accounting Manager Elizabeth Rourke are pleased to share an opportunity for residents and community organizations to submit projects for consideration to be included in the Fiscal Year 2024 Town Budget.
This process is known as a Participatory Budget, which is a budget for which residents or community organizations can submit projects for consideration to be funded by the town.
A total of $100,000 in project funds have been set aside for projects submitted by the public costing less than $25,000 each. Residents and community organizations are encouraged to submit projects that cost less than $25,000 and will benefit the community for five years or more.
Examples of projects funded through Participatory Budgeting in other communities include trail signage, gateway improvements, neighborhood trails or parks, public bus shelters, public Wi-Fi, tree planting, outdoor recreation/fitness stations along trails, public art, accessibility enhancements, electric vehicle charging stations, etc.
Submissions are due by noon on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Deliver or mail the budget submission and supporting documents to Elizabeth Rourke, Town Accountant’s Office, Town Hall, 18 Main St., Hopkinton, MA 01748.
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An evaluation committee will be formed to review the submissions and will be made up of the chief financial officer, senior accounting manager, assistant town manager, Department of Public Works director, town engineer, construction inspector and a representative from the school district.
Once reviews are completed by the committee, selected submissions will be forwarded to the town manager. Approved requests will be sent to the Appropriations Committee and will be integrated into the FY 24 budget. The final step for the selected submissions is approval at Town Meeting on Monday, May 1. The approved capital projects will ultimately be funded through free cash.
“A participatory budget is a great way for the community to share ideas, develop proposals for projects that are important to them, and truly be involved in the budget process from start to finish,” Senior Accounting Manager Rourke said. “We look forward to reviewing the submissions and encourage anyone with an idea to submit a proposal.”
Added Town Manager Khumalo, “Submitting project ideas is an important way for us to hear what types of improvements are meaningful to our community, and allows the public to have direct influence on what types of projects are funded.”
Questions about the submission process can be directed to Rourke at 508-497-9705 or firstname.lastname@example.org.