In August 2015, the City Council dedicated $5 million to relaunching the Neighborhood Enhancement Program after a prolonged hiatus following the recession. Founded in 1988, the NEP recognizes that residents are best suited to determine how to enhance their neighborhoods, and empowers them to propose and select modest, capital projects that improve their communities.
Past improvement projects have included art elements, crosswalk improvements, farm stands, trail connections, street lighting, picnic shelters, play structures and streetscape improvements.The projects proposed by residents must meet a set of criteria established by the city, and, once selected, must be constructed within three to five years.
The NEP defines 14 neighborhood areas that coincide with those identified in the Comprehensive Plan, with two exceptions: the Downtown and BelRed neighborhood areas, as well as the Eastgate and Factoria neighborhood areas, are combined.
The $5 million allocated to NEP is distributed among the 14 neighborhood areas based on the number of households in each area. Combining the household numbers in the BelRed/Downtown and Eastgate/Factoria areas allowed the city to maximize the investment in these neighborhoods.
The NEP will rotate through the 14 neighborhood areas over the course of seven years, per the city’s Capital Improvements Program (2014-2021), reaching two Neighborhood Areas per year. Links to the neighborhood area rotation schedule and individual budget allocations can be found on the sidebar.