After a suspension of more than two years due to the recession, the City Council approved the revitalization of the Neighborhood Enhancement Program, now known as NEP 2.0, with various changes and improvements. The program was originally launched in 1988.
NEP provides residents an opportunity to select small capital projects for city-funded improvements in their neighborhoods. Residents themselves are in the best position to submit project ideas and decide, through a democratic process, how to prioritize improvement opportunities in their own neighborhoods.
The city entrusts residents to determine the needs of their neighborhood and which improvements would best cultivate their distinct neighborhood character. Potential projects may include, but are not limited to: art elements, crosswalk improvements, farm stands, trail connections, street lighting, picnic shelters and play structures. Projects are expected to be completed within three to five years after selection.
The program outlines subarea boundaries in alignment with the Comprehensive Plan, identifying 14 neighborhood areas; downtown and BelRed, as well as Eastgate and Factoria, have been combined. The NEP-2 will serve two communities per year, with a seven-year cycle in sync with the city’s seven-year capital projects cycle. The council approved $5 million for NEP, which will be allocated to each neighborhood area based on the number of households in each area. Unlike the ealier NEP program, there is no $150,000 cap per project. With NEP-2.0, an entire neighborhood area's budget can be spent on a single project.
The first NEP area scheduled to launch this year is Eastgate/Factoria. More details will be coming to neighborhoods in the months ahead. For questions or comments, please contact Ying Carlson, firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-4502-4342 or Mike McCormick Huentelman, Neighborhood and Community Outreach Manager, at email@example.com or 425-4502-4089.