Resilient Kingston making progress while facing COVID, other challenges, mayor says in State of the City address – The Daily Freeman

Posted: January 5, 2022 at 8:52 am

KINGSTON, N.Y. Mayor Steve Noble said Kingston has been courageous, resilient, and compassionate over the past two years while facing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges.

And as Kingston continues to move forward and build on its recent accomplishments, residents were urged once again to put aside prejudices and personal interests and work with a singleness of purpose, Noble said Tuesday during his annual State of the City address. Lets move forward and heal as a community. Lets push ourselves and our city to be all that we know it can be.

The city is making progress and wont stop now, Noble added.

The mayor gave his speech during the Common Council meeting at City Hall, which was also shown live online.

Noble said the city faces many challenges now, just as it did when it was formed in 1872. Those now include building safe and accessible roadways, rebuilding the 150-year-old sewer system, taking a close look at policing practices, and repairing the central fire station. The city also needs to continue to address the ongoing pandemic and its severe housing crisis, while also working to repair the painful division in the nation, state, and local community, he said.

In order to accomplish our goals of rebuilding our roads and vital infrastructure, ensuring every member of our community is fed and housed, and making meaningful change to our policing methods, it will take a coordinated and collective effort, Noble said. Together we can heal the divides because we can only move forward if we are working with one another, helping each other along.

Moving forward, Noble said Kingston is undertaking a city-wide rezoning initiative that will overhaul its outdated code. He said the rezoning will introduce form-based code that encourages revitalization, promotes affordable housing, spurs small businesses, promotes walkability, and will help preserve what makes Kingston unique.

Also on the housing front, Noble said he hopes, together with the Common Council, to pass Good Cause Eviction legislation to protect tenants from rising rental costs and unfair eviction. He said the city has also identified two vacant lots where it will build tiny homes in a partnership with Family of Woodstock. Those lots are located at 81 Cedar St. and 78 Franklin St., Noble said.

I am committed to ensuring that all residents have adequate, safe housing, and my administration will be pursuing all avenues to realize this effort, the mayor said.

Noble also pointed to approximately $17 million in federal funding the city will receive through the American Rescue Plan Act. He said the city expects to soon have a plan ready to present to the public as to how the funding will be spent over the next five years. The goal is to build on the citys existing resources, opportunities, and past planning efforts, and to provide funding in areas for sustained future growth that will bolster Kingstons economy, Noble said.

In terms of policing, Noble said the city is working with the Peaceful Guardians Project to create a concrete plan for applying recommendations created by the Re-envision Public Safety Task Force. He said the public would be presented with a two-pronged approach that will include a one-year plan for immediate implementation and a five-year plan for loftier goals.

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Resilient Kingston making progress while facing COVID, other challenges, mayor says in State of the City address - The Daily Freeman

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