Vote in Maplewood’s inaugural participatory budget program

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — From March 1 through April 1, Maplewood allowed community members, local civic groups, school parent organizations and nonprofit organizations based in Maplewood to submit their ideas for “one-time projects” with “one-time expenditures” that address a community need and provide a community benefit to submit proposals. A Participatory Budget Committee, which included Township Committee members, the chief finance officer, engineer, business administrator and Public Works director reviewed these proposals to see if they met the established criteria. Now, $50,000 has been allocated from the township’s capital budget for the program.

Following the review, the committee selected the following projects to be placed on a ballot, which will be available online at the township website. The ballot will also be available in print at the Township Clerk’s Office and both branches of the Maplewood Library. The print ballot will be available in English, Haitian Creole and Spanish.

Projects on the ballot are:

  • Dog Park or Run: Create a dog park or run in Maplewood;
  • Ping Pong Tables: Construct two to four permanent ping pong tables in Maplewood parks;
  • Street Name Signage Replacement: Replace and upgrade street name signage on major roadways in the township;
  • Improvements to Borden Park: Install Americans with Disabilities Act compliant changing tables, picnic tables and trash cans in Borden Park;
  • Improve the Safety and Curb Appeal of Elmwood Arts District: Purchase and install planters outside the shops on the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Orchard Road allowing for outdoor seating and pedestrian safety;
  • Improvements to Maplewood’s Local History Center: Create an archive for preserving and studying Maplewood’s historically important documents, maps, photos and other artifacts;
  • Map Placards for Bike Path: Install map placards for the existing bike path on Parker and Hudson avenues;
  • Bring Pickleball to Maplewood: Construct a pickleball court in a community park;
  • Maplewood Pollinator Project: Plant a pollinator garden in each of the Maplewood’s parks;
  • Restoration of Vietnam Veterans Memorial: Restore the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Memorial Park;
  • Community Labyrinth: Design and construct a community labyrinth in Maplecrest Park;
  • Neighborhood WiFi Pilot: Bridge the digital divide with infrastructure to allow broadband access to residents who lack meaningful access to broadband internet;
  • Beautify DeHart Community Center: Purchase and install large flower pots to beautify the DeHart Community Center;
  • Welcome to Hilton Neighborhood Signage: Install signage for various locations in the Hilton Neighborhood;
  • Sidewalk at the Senior Center: Install a pedestrian sidewalk outside the Maplewood Senior Center at 106 Burnett Ave.; and
  • Smart TV and Projector for DeHart Community Center: Purchase and install a smart TV and projector at the community center.

Beginning May 15 at 9 a.m., ballots will be available until 4:30 p.m. on May 31. Voters will select their top two choices and be able to vote once. Voters will be required to complete an affidavit certifying they live in Maplewood and are at least 14 years of age.

Following the public voting period the winning projects will be announced June 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Township Committee meeting.