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How would you spend $2.4 million? In May, Durham teens and adults get to decide.

City of Durham logo on the side of City Hall.
City of Durham logo on the side of City Hall. dvaughan@newsobserver.com

Durham residents age 13 and older will get to decide how the city spends $2.4 million, starting Wednesday.

Called participatory budgeting, the City Council agreed to spend $800,000 in each of the city’s three wards. Any Durham teen or adult can vote for projects, regardless of citizenship status.

Participatory budgeting has been a priority of Mayor Pro Tem Jillian Johnson, who brought the idea to the council last year. Johnson wanted to spend $2.5 million, and city staff recommended spending $750,000. Council members approved $2.4 million last May. Mayor Steve Schewel and Council member Mark-Anthony Middleton voted against it because they wanted the amount to be closer to the staff recommendation.

Residents submitted hundreds of ideas, which were then narrowed down to this final list for voting. Voters can rank their project choices from one to 10.

Ward 1, represented by council member DeDreana Freeman, has the most projects. Ward 2 and Ward 3 are represented by council member Mark-Anthony Middleton and council member Vernetta Alston, respectively.

Voting will be open from May 1 through May 31 online at pbdurham.org and at participating schools and pop-up events including Bimbe Cultural Arts Festival May 18 at Rock Quarry Park.

Here are the participatory-budgeting projects on the ballots. Some citywide projects appear on all three ward ballots:

Ward 1:

Historic monuments along the Fayetteville Street corridor. Cost: $89,702

LGBTQ Youth Center. Cost: $113,300

Accessible ramps for people with disabilities. Cost: $56,650

Hillside Park improvements. Cost: $470,195

Lakeview Park improvements. Cost: $490,589

Play equipment for Carroll Park. Cost: $90,640

Purchase equipment to make playground accessible. Cost: $79,310

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and Entrepreneurship Youth Center. Cost: $99,121

Bus shelters with reclaimed art and solar panels. Cost: $395,757

Durham Housing Authority lighting and security cameras. Cost: $283,250

Goose Creek tributary restoration. Cost: $653,740

Solar tree and site lighting for W.D. Hill Recreation Center fustal court. Cost: $157,281

Street trees. Cost: $67,980

Technology for Durham Public Schools that would replace projectors at some middle and high schools. Cost: $134,784

Wi-Fi hotspot picnic tables at nine Durham Housing Authority properties. Cost: $123,750

Bus shelters on Dearborn Drive. Cost: $106,502

Sidewalk on Carroll Street. Cost: $798,743

Pedestrian island at North Miami Boulevard and Juniper and Guthrie streets. Cost: $226,000

Protected crosswalk from Lakeview Park to Lakeview Secondary School. Cost: $96,305

Sidewalk repairs on Gray Avenue. Cost: $559,884

Ward 2:

El Futuro expansion of its clinic into adjacent space at the Shoppes at Lakewood.

LGBTQ Youth Center. Cost: $113,300

Accessible ramps for people with disabilities. Cost: $56,650

Belmont Park improvements. Cost: $124,630

Burton Park improvements. Cost: $309,309

Bus shelters with reclaimed art and solar panels. Cost: $395,757

Durham Housing Authority LED lighting and security cameras. Cost: $113,300

Technology for Durham Public Schools that would replace projectors at some middle and high schools. Cost: $134,784

Wi-Fi hotspot picnic tables at nine Durham Housing Authority properties. Cost: $123,750

Bus shelters on Fayetteville Street. Cost: $158,620

Cook Road sidewalk extension. Cost: $420,729

Sidewalk on East Pettigrew Street. Cost: $354,652

Ward 3:

Art displays on blank building walls on East Chapel Hill Street. $60,049

LGBTQ Youth Center. Cost: $113,300

Accessible ramps for people with disabilities. Cost: $56,650

STEM equipment for The Life Center youth program. Cost: $145,991

Bus shelters with reclaimed art and solar panels. Cost: $395,757

Durham Housing Authority LED lighting and security cameras. Cost: $57,783

Solar electric vehicle charging station at Lakewood Shopping Center. Cost: $81,222

Technology for Durham Public Schools that would replace projectors at some middle and high schools. Cost: $790,746

Wi-Fi hotspot picnic tables at nine Durham Housing Authority properties. Cost: $123,750

Connect sidewalk gaps on Chapel Hill Road. $790,746

Pedestrian crossing at James Street and Nation Avenue. Cost: $52,118

Winning projects will be announced in June. Robin Baker, budget engagement coordinator, told the City Council in April the city hopes to complete half of the projects in the next fiscal year.

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