Nearly 100 people turn out for Oneida DRI meeting
ONEIDA — The tables were packed at the Kallet Civic Center for the second public comment meeting regarding Oneida's Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI).
Residents and other interested parties were invited to meet on Wednesday night to be given an overview of the DRI and share their thoughts on the 19 projects competing for a piece of the $10 million awarded to the city by the state. Nearly 100 people, young and old, came out to participate from all over Oneida and beyond.
"The turnout was incredible," said Paul Marco, member of the Local Planning Committee (LPC). "I think that's really representative of the City of Oneida. People are so invested in their community here. I'm not even surprised."
Members of the LPC—made up of various community stakeholders who are tasked with strategically selecting projects that will together make the maximum impact towards reinvigorating the downtown—along with state and other DRI officials were available for questions or comments from the public. Once the LPC submits its strategic investment plan to the state, it is ultimately the state's decision which of the submitted projects will move forward.
While perusing the project profiles displayed throughout the space, guests could use 10 tokens to vote on their favorites. Guests were also invited to share their comments by posting sticky-notes to the project description boards for all to see. Additionally, participants were given a sheet of paper listing the projects with a box to share their thoughts on each one.
The LPC sought answers from the public to questions like "Do you think this project will positively impact Oneida?" and "What elements would you want to see included in this project?," as noted on the comment sheet.
The 19 projects seeking DRI funding are as follows:
Construct a performance pavilion and visitor’s kiosk at Higinbotham Park
Establish a Downtown Oneida Murals Program
Create a downtown pocket park on an underutilized parcel
Rejuvenate and decarbonize the Carriage House Apartments
Develop a Downtown Business Assistance Fund
Develop an area Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) soccer fields and skating rink
Enhance annual downtown arts and entertainment festivals
Create downtown art and culture district marketing plan
Improve safety and aesthetics at St. Patrick’s Church and School
Extend sidewalks on East Sands Street to Maxwell Field
Improve downtown infrastructure
Provide broadband wifi service to Oneida
Redevelop Dispatch Commons
Redevelop the Lerman Building for commercial and residential uses
Reimagine the vacant Hotel Oneida as a multifunctional event space
Renovate and preserve the historic Oneida Baptist Church
Repair and upgrade the historic Kallet Civic Center
Restore, upgrade, and consolidate the historic buildings at 132-146 Main Street
Upgrade downtown city parks
Projects up for consideration are subject to change at anytime.
The next public comment meeting is scheduled for July 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the Kallet Civic Center. For a list of all DRI meetings and updates, visit oneidadri.com.
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