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Nearly 100 people turn out for Oneida DRI meeting

Carly Stone
Staff writer
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Posted 5/19/22

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 …

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Nearly 100 people turn out for Oneida DRI meeting

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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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