January 28, 2017 - In This Issue:
A Message From Mayor Steve Noble:
Dear Friends,
This has been an exciting week for the City of Kingston. On Thursday, we were notified of a grant award totaling $500,000 from the Restore New York Communities Initiative. These funds are going to help us break through some significant barriers in our quest to improve the quality of housing in our Midtown neighborhoods. On Friday, we announced that Kingston has been designated a Clean Energy Community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. We are the first City in New York to earn this designation and are now positioned to apply for $100,000 towards upcoming clean energy products. As a former Environmental Educator for the City of Kingston, it gives me great pride to know that our efforts in sustainability are setting the standard across the state.

Speaking of grant funding, I have received a few calls and comments from those in the public who are concerned that Kingston is at-risk of losing our federal funding. This fear comes after President Trump signed an Executive Order that includes language related to stripping "Sanctuary Cities" of their federal funding. I understand that those headlines scare you and I want to explain where we are in this process. 

In November 2016, I received a letter from over 20 clergy in our community, requesting that I consider declaring Kingston a Sanctuary City. After speaking at length with Kingston Police Department Chief Egidio Tinti and researching the issue, I sent a communication to our Common Council, requesting that the matter be referred to the appropriate committee. As I researched the topic further, I found that there is no precise legal meaning of the term Sanctuary City. As a result, I supported a memorializing resolution reaffirming the City of Kingston as a welcoming and inclusive community. On December 20th, the Laws and Rules Committee endorsed this resolution and sent it to the full Common Council for a vote. At the January 10th Common Council meeting, attended by hundreds of community members, over 60 individuals provided comment during the public speaking segment of the Council meeting, which lasted for over 3 hours. Ultimately, the Council voted 5-3 in favor of this memorializing resolution. You can read the memorializing resolution here. In summary, the memorializing resolution states exactly what the City of Kingston has been doing in policy and practice for decades. We have not changed any policy by passing this resolution and we have not declared that we refuse to adhere to the law. In fact, this memorializing resolution ensures that we actually are adhering to the law. On January 19th, NYS Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman released a comprehensive guide, which includes model laws and policies for "Sanctuary" municipalities. 

So for those who have asked whether I am afraid that we will have our federal funding stripped, here is my response:

Our city, and cities all over New York, have the law on our side. Kingston's recent passage of a memorializing resolution reaffirming our city as a welcoming and inclusive community was completely within our right. Our memorializing resolution does not break the law nor undermine the authority of federal law enforcement. It does not prevent us from arresting individuals breaking the law. It does not provide immunity or amnesty to those arrested. All this memorializing resolution does is make clear to our community members that they do not have to live in fear here. It tells them that if they are a witness to a crime, they can and should come forward without concern for their well-being. It tells them that the City of Kingston puts public safety first. 

I believe wholeheartedly that no community should ever feel compromised or threatened with punishment for passing a memorializing resolution that lawfully responds to its community's needs, values and interests. On a more practical level, if indeed a punishment is coming to Kingston, major cities which have declared themselves Sanctuary Cities or passed resolutions similar to ours, including New York, Boston, Syracuse, Chicago, Baltimore, and Los Angeles will have been punished as well, causing an international economic catastrophe. So while it may feel like our community has headed towards a path of uncertainty, we are not alone. In fact, we are standing with the great cities across our nation who have declared not only that they are "sanctuary" jurisdictions and/or welcoming and inclusive communities, but that no one should live in fear in our country. I assure you, if the City of Kingston is to lose its federal funding because it did a completely lawful act fully supported by the U.S. Constitution, then we collectively have already lost more than we can bare. 

City of Kingston awarded $500,000 grant

Mayor Steve Noble is pleased to announce a $500,000 award from the Restore New York Communities Initiative to the City of Kingston to support major Midtown revitalization initiatives.
"This is great news for Midtown and great news for the City of Kingston," said Mayor Noble. "As I discussed during my State of the City address, we are going to aggressively seek opportunities to address our core focus areas, including housing. These funds, joined with our efforts to establish a Land Bank, implement coordinated code enforcement, and address 'zombie properties', propel this vision forward."
The Restore NY funds will support the restoration of four properties in Midtown Kingston. Funding will be used to:
  • Assist with the cost of demolition of the former Mid-City Lanes bowling alley, located at 20 Cedar St., in preparation of RUPCO's "Energy Square." The project is proposed to include 57 mixed income rental units and a significant commercial space to be used by innovative not for profits and groups.
  • Address three (3) single-family properties located within a few blocks of the Cedar Street building. These are surplus properties obtained by the City that are currently in significant disrepair and vacant. Restore NY will provide funds for a financial gap that the City has to rehabilitate the homes. Once rehabilitated, these properties will be available for purchase at an affordable price, encouraging home ownership in the neighborhood and, ultimately, further community stability.
"We ended 2016 learning that we had been awarded a record $3.3 million from the NYS Consolidated Funding Application to support our infrastructure, sustainability, and transportation initiatives," Mayor Noble continued. "We are going to continue this momentum in 2017, starting off with housing." 
City of Kingston Earns Clean Energy Community Designation for its Commitment to Cut Costs and Reduce Energy Consumption

Mayor Steve Noble is pleased to announce the City of Kingston has been designated a Clean Energy Community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), recognizing its leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy locally.
Announced by Governor Cuomo in August, the $16 million Clean Energy Communities initiative supports local government leaders across the State to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects in their communities. Clean Energy Communities advances the Governor's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy by demonstrating the importance of communities in helping New York reach its Clean Energy Standard of 50 percent of the state's electricity coming from renewable energy resources by 2030.
Kingston received the designation for completing 4 of 10 high-impact clean energy actions identified by NYSERDA as part of the Clean Energy Communities initiative. In addition, the designation gives Kingston an opportunity to apply for up to $100,000 towards additional clean energy projects, with no local cost share.
"The City of Kingston has a track record for being a model of sustainability for communities across New York State and we are proud to be New York's first city to be declared a Clean Energy Community," said Mayor Noble. "I am so proud of our staff and volunteers who have worked diligently to bring us to this point. I look forward to continuing to demonstrate that by making sustainability a priority, communities can and will thrive."
To earn the Clean Energy Community designation, Kingston completed the following high-impact clean energy actions:
  • Clean Fleets- the City of Kingston purchased two plug-in Chevy Volts as part of the NYS Aggregated Purchase of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles in Summer 2016. One car is used by the Fire Department's Public Safety Division and other by the Police Department's School Resource Officer.
  • Benchmarking- in January 2017, the City of Kingston passed a resolution adopting Energy Benchmarking requirements for certain municipal buildings in the City of Kingston. Using EPA's Portfolio Manager online free software, the City of Kingston will now collect, report and share building energy use on a regular basis with the public, allowing municipal officials and the public to understand the energy performance of municipal buildings relative to similar buildings nationwide. This information will be used to identify opportunities to cut costs and reduce pollution in Kingston.
  • Climate Smart Communities Certification- Kingston was part of the original six communities in NYS to achieve Climate Smart Communities Certification in 2014, a statewide recognition program that recognizes communities for their climate action and leadership through a rating system. The City of Kingston is currently the highest ranking City in NYS, with a Bronze Certification.
  • Energize NY Finance- in December 2015, the City of Kingston passed Local Law #3 to establish a sustainable energy loan program in the City of Kingston. This program, also known as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing, allows the Energy Improvement Corporation ("EIC"), a local development corporation, acting on behalf of the City of Kingston, to make funds available to qualified property owners to pay for the cost of clean energy upgrades to their commercial or non-profit property through a special charge on their property tax bill.
For more information about the City of Kingston's sustainability efforts, please contact Julie Noble, Environmental Education and Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Kingston, at (845) 481-7339 or at JulieLNoble@kingston-ny.gov
For more information on Clean Energy Communities, visit:  www.nyserda.ny.gov/cec.  
Stay Alert to "New" Traffic Signal

Traffic Signal Update:
Please be advised that the intersection of Linderman Ave. and Washington Ave is back on signal (going through red, yellow and green phases.) Since you may be used to stop signs at that intersection, please be prepared for this change.
Have a dog? Make sure your license is up to date!

To get a dog license, please visit the City Clerk's office at City Hall (420 Broadway). Licenses must be renewed on an annual basis.

Dog Licenses are $18.00 for unspayed/unneutered dogs, $9.00 for spayed/neutered dogs. 

A copy of current rabies certificate is required, as well as a copy of spay/neuter certificate, where applicable.
Community members asked to serve on        Parking Work Group

Do you have ideas and suggestions as to how the City could improve parking? Do you have comments about the planned changes to parking fees? Are you willing to volunteer some time and energy to working with residents, employees, business owners and local leaders to ensure that the City's short term and long term parking plans meet the needs of the entire community? Consider applying to serve on the City's new parking work group. 

Read more about the responsibilities of the work group here.
Applications are due Friday, February 10th and can be found here

Community Development Block Grant
The City of Kingston must prepare its Annual Action Plan for Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018), which details the use of its estimated $600,000 annual grant under the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) Entitlement Grant. Public comments regarding specific projects or program priorities you would like to see included in the Consolidated Plan or Annual Action Plan are accepted at the City's Office of Economic & Community Development at any time.  The citizens of Kingston are also invited to participate in informational and public comment sessions on the 2017 Annual Action Plan.

Click  here for a schedule of CDBG meetings.


CDBG 1st Public Hearing 
Thursday, February 2, 2017, 6:00 PM 
Common Council Chambers, City Hall 
420 Broadway, Kingston 

CDBG 2nd Public Hearing 
Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 6:00 PM 
Common Council Chambers, City Hall
420 Broadway, Kingston

Click  here for information on the CDBG process and a copy of the 2017 application.

Click  here for contact information.
City of Kingston and Conservation Advisory Council Meeting to Feature Natural Resource Maps
Monday, January 30th

The City of Kingston with the Kingston Conservation Advisory Council is inviting the public to attend a special presentation that will introduce the City's new Natural Resources Inventory (NRI) maps and data on Monday, January 30th at 6:00pm at the City Hall Common Council Chambers, which is located at 420 Broadway in Kingston.

The meeting is designed to introduce the public to the many natural assets within the City of Kingston, displayed on user-friendly maps and compiled into data sets. This meeting will serve as an introduction as well as information solicitation from attendees, to best inform the completion of the project. Participation and feedback will be encouraged both during the meeting as well as following.

John Mickelson, Principal of Geospatial and Ecological Services, and consultant to the City for the NRI will present the data and maps created to date as well as different methods to use them including hard copy maps, online data access, and Google Earth manipulation. Julie Noble, Chair of the Conservation Advisory Council and Environmental Education and Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Kingston will facilitate the event.

Laura Heady,  Conservation and Land Use Coordinator with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Hudson River Estuary Program, will give an overview on the ecological benefits of natural areas and the ways that NRIs can inform community planning, with examples from the Hudson Valley.

"The NRI will serve to increase awareness of the natural areas in the larger, undeveloped areas of Kingston while illustrating the connections of the land to the Hudson Estuary and adjacent communities," said Julie Noble, Environmental Education and Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Kingston. "By compiling a large amount of map information into one planning tool, such as geology, streams, and land use, NRIs are an important component of comprehensive planning and can reveal the areas most suitable for community growth, development of parks, and conservation of the most important natural features. Habitat information is an additional component of an NRI, which the CAC is working to develop."

Support for the City of Kingston Natural Resources Inventory is provided by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Program with funds provided under the NYS Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

This program is free. Light refreshments will be served. Residents, business owners, developers, planners, consultants, elected officials, policy makers, neighboring municipalities and non-profits who are interested in the future of Kingston's open space and natural resources are encouraged to attend.

For more information, please contact Julie Noble at (845) 481-7339.
Sign up for Swift911

Did you know that the City of Kingston has an Emergency Notification System? This system allows the City to notify residents of emergencies, changes in services and other important information. Winter is the best time to sign up for this service so you can receive text messages and/or e-mails to alert you of snow emergencies and parking restrictions. 

Note: While the system does allow the City to place "robo-calls", we will only use this feature when a State of Emergency is declared or other serious events transpire. 

2017 Refuse and Recycling Calendar Now Available

Upcoming Municipal Meetings

Monday, January 30th
Conservation Advisory Council
City Hall, Common Council Chambers

Wednesday, February 1st
Ryan Insurance Company

To stay up to date on all municipal meetings each month, check out our monthly calendar here.  Most meeting agendas and minutes can be found here.
Kingston Happenings
The City of Kingston often receives requests to share upcoming events happening in our community. Our partners at 
KingstonHappenings.org  do an excellent job of centralizing this community information. So while our website is the best resource to gain information about City of Kingston sponsored events and important municipal information, Kingston Happenings can give you a greater preview of community events. Check them out today!
Sent on behalf of:
Mayor Steven T. Noble

The purpose of this newsletter is to share important information, project updates, pictures and news from the City of Kingston. For more detailed information, visit: