On June 12 over three hundred and fifty people turned out to vote at the Central Library
After a fun and sometimes hectic night 4 small projects receive full funding, 7 large projects received full funding, and one received partial funding at the first District 7 Participatory Budgeting vote since COVID paused the project.
Despite the tragic wildfires last week forcing a last-minute rescheduling of the event with just one day’s notice, the event was packed from the start.
Three hundred and fifty-eight residents of all ages turned out Monday evening at the Halifax Central Library to cast their votes on what community projects would receive $84,000 of district capital funding for 2023/24.
“It was the first time we’ve been able to gather and vote as a community for the vote for three years,” said Waye Mason, Councillor for District 7, “it was so exciting to get feel that energy and excitement again!”
Each district in Halifax has a budget of $94,000 for a District Capital Fund for permanent projects in the community that provide widespread community benefit. In District 7 $10,000 has been allocated for pride crosswalks prior to the vote. Since 2013, community members in District 7 have proposed projects, made recommendations on how to spend this money, and voted on what should be funded.
“It was also gratifying to note that District 7 residents voted overwhelmingly to fund Adsum House’s project to buy tents, pads and sleeping bags for people experiencing homelessness, which got over 50% more votes than the next highest project.” said Mason.
“The many system failures regarding affordable housing and shelter that continue to plague Nova Scotia are well known, and no one thinks tents are the right long-term solution, but residents spoke loudly and clearly that these vulnerable residents must be supported while better long-term solutions are put in place.”
Full funding was provided to:
Large Projects (up to $10,000)
Adsum for Women & Children $10,000.00
Purchase of new sleeping bags, tarps, and tents for use
Gorsebrook Junior $10,000.00
Installation of new basketball backboards in gym
Halifax Brewery Market $6,500.00
Upgrade to community space
Halifax Central Junior High Home & School $10,000.00
Calisthenics set up to promote exercise in the community.
Halifax Lancers $8,000.00
Replacing the concrete floor in sections of the Lancer’s stable
LeMarchant-St. Thomas Home & School $10,000.00
Instal two outdoor basketball backboards
Spencer House $8,650.00
placemaking efforts on Morris Street i.e. public Wi-Fi access, outdoor furniture, etc.
Turret Art Space $3,350.00 (partial funding)
Renovation carrying costs
Small Projects (up to $5,000)
Neighbours of Larch & Jennings Streets $2,500.00
Event day supplies and food to create a community mural
Quinpool Road Mainstreet District Association $5,000.00
Funding to support the Halifax Mural Festival
Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax $5,000.00
Landscaping and creating a community garden and sitting area.
Wonder’neath Art Society $5,000.00
Storage and display cabinets to house the collection.
“As always, we heard from residents about how difficult it can be to choose a few projects. Every proposal was amazing and would have done wonders if funded” Mason said, “but in the end, residents made the decisions.”
Proposals will now be vetted by HRM staff and pending policy and due diligence by staff organizations should receive their funding in six to eight weeks.
For more information on Participatory budgeting, visit https://wayemason.ca/pb