Good news, Bottineau: Some unused NRP funds designated by the City for Bottineau Neighborhood have unexpectedly turned up and we, as a community, need to vote on how we are going to use that money. And you will have that opportunity at our first community meeting of the new year at East Side Neighborhood Services (1700 2nd St. NE) on Thursday, January 28 at 7:00 p.m.
At our December meeting, the BNA board discussed funding priorities in the Neighborhood and voted to recommend that we reassign this money—$46,340.85 from an old commercial loan program—to the current housing grant program that benefits Bottineau property owners and helps keep our neighborhood’s housing stock in good shape. If that sounds familiar it’s because you’ve read about it in the Gazette before—it’s the Bottineau Matching Grant program that provides up to $2000 for home improvement projects.
To reassign this money from an old NRP strategy to a current neighborhood priority, we need the community—a.k.a. you—to ratify the board’s recommendation.
But that’s not the only NRP money available to be reassigned: another $9000 in uncontracted funds from an NRP I bike path strategy has also turned up and the Board has voted to recommend using these funds to engage neighborhood residents in other meaningful ways. One thing the Board wants to do is again fund the family reading program we piloted in 2014. A popular and effective program, it worked with immigrant families to better prepare their children’s reading skills and, thus, their ability to succeed in school. Volunteers read books to children and every week each child was given a book to take home.
Other potential uses for these funds include translation services at meetings; youth arts programming via Juxtaposition Art, or via workshops organized in conjunction with resident artists at the California Building; and Movies in the Park—something we can all enjoy.
But, again, this is something for our community to vote on, and other ideas—for how to use this money to engage neighborhood residents—are certainly welcome. To propose an idea, though, you need to show up. In fact, the world is run by people who show up.
Join us and help make Bottineau beautiful.