Norkirk Votes to Spend $25,000 Grant on Traffic Circles and Park Improvements

The results are in on how the Norkirk Neighborhood voted to spend the $25,000 in Neighborhood Connection Program (NCP) grant money given to the neighborhood by the City of Kirkland (The NCP has granted money to the neighborhoods each year on a rotating basis). In the past, neighborhoods have elected to spend their grant money to build fences around playgrounds, benches and picnic tables in parks, and even purchase public art.

The NCP is a vestige of the economic golden era when the City of Kirkland was flush with cash to grant to the neighborhoods. Those times have long since passed as the City Council contemplates yet another round of budget cuts this summer. Recently, the Everest neighborhood decided others were in greater need of the funds and voted to return their grant money to the City's general fund.

The money received by Norkirk is likely the last of such grants, at least until economic conditions change.

In January and February, Norkirk residents proffered over 31 individual suggestions on how to spend the grant money. At the April Norkirk Neighborhood meeting, the list of projects was narrowed in preparation for the ballot. In May, postcards were mailed to neighborhood residents with instructions on how to vote on-line (with an option to vote by mail if preferred). Nine projects totaling $46,800 were prioritized resulting in three fully funded projects and one partially funded project for the $25,000 available funds.

Points              Project Description                                                    Estimate

202                   Landscape Traffic Circles Throughout Norkirk             $8,000

171                   Par Course or Fitness Trail                                               $6,400

148                   Benches and Picnic Tables at Crestwoods Park          $6,400

113                   Benches along walking routes and near bus stops     $4,200

Over 160 households participated in the online voting (nearly 10% of the total households). Top priority projects were given 3 points, second priority 2, and third priority 1 point. You can also view the results on the City's website at: www.ci.kirkland.wa.us/neighborhoods.

Interested in participating in a neighborhood work party to clean up a traffic island? Can you offer volunteer landscape design expertise?

The Norkirk Neighborhood will need your help in implementing the top priority project (Landscape Traffic Circles Throughout Norkirk). Essential to the success of this project is to find volunteers to "Adopt a Circle" (circles that are safe to work on). We are in the process of identifying the locations of the traffic circles and one may be located close to your home. Please reply to this email if you would like to participate in some way. Thank you to those who have already offered to volunteer.