Participatory Budgeting (PB)
The 2022-23 Participatory Budgeting Cycle is Complete
See the tab below for details on the winning projects.
What is Participatory Budgeting (PB)?
Participatory Budgeting (PB for short!) is a democratic process through which community members directly decide how to spend public funds. PB guarantees accountability in spending decisions, can increase equity and access, foster civic engagement and community spirit, and ensure that public money targets real community needs.
What PB is NOT
PB is not the same as the Town's annual operating and capital budgets. In these budget processes, Town staff develop the recommended budget to present to the Select Board and eventually to Town Meeting. Residents can participate in those budget processes by commenting at the Select Board's annual budget hearings, or through their Town Meeting representatives.
Submitting an Idea
When an active participatory budgeting cycle is underway, you can submit your ideas to improve Lexington! All ideas are welcome, but projects are only eligible if they meet certain criteria. (Note: the 2022-23 PB cycle is closed.)
Eligible projects must meet the following criteria:
- Benefits the public
- Are one-time expenditures
- Are capital projects, (something bought or built--as opposed to operating projects, which usually fund salaries and services)
- Some capital projects may have some sort of associated operating cost. It can't require the Town to hire additional staff.
- Are implemented by the Town of Lexington on Town property (streets, sidewalks, parks, library, schools, youth centers, senior centers, municipal buildings, etc.)
Examples of projects that you could submit could be:
- Water fountains in a park
- Electric vehicle charging stations
- Bicycle repair station
- Accessibility improvements
- Planting trees
When there is an active participatory budgeting cycle underway, translation services are available upon request in Mandarin, Korean, and Hindi. Email Sean Dugan for assistance.
렉싱턴의 발전을 위한 당신의 아이디어를 보내주십시오. 요청하시면 번역 서비스가 제공됩니다
लेक्सिंगटन को बेहतर बनाने के लिए अपने विचार प्रस्तुत करें। अनुरोध पर अनुवाद सेवाएं उपलब्ध हैं।
If you have any questions, or would like additional information, please contact Sean Dugan in the Town Manager's Office by email or call 781-698-4548.
The Select Board allocated $500,000 of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for Lexington's first-ever PB cycle in 2022.
There was $500,000 approved for this participatory budgeting cycle. At their meeting on April 10, 2023, the Select Board approved an additional $5,000, so that four projects could be selected at $505,000, rather than having three projects totaling $420,000.
The winning projects were selected by the votes of 1,650 residents. Voters of all ages were able to cast a ballot, and then were asked to rank their selected projects in order of preference. Only one vote per person was allowed. The winning projects took into account the weighted total based on voters project ranking.
- Flashing Lights at Crosswalks and Bike Path - $250,000
- Project description: Add push button flashing lights at select crosswalks and Minuteman Bikeway crossings around Lexington to improve safety conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
- Project update (July 26, 2023): The Engineering Div. has done preliminary data collection (basic survey), and are negotiating a contract for design with consulting firm TEC, who did design for our rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFB) installations on Maple St., Maguire Rd., and Marrett Rd.
- Improvements to Conservation Land - $100,000
- Project description: This project would provide improvements to the Town's highly-used conservation land. Funding would be used to advance the Town's on-going meadow preservation program by 20 acres. These funds would be prioritized for various improvements needed at Chiesa Farm, Dunback Meadow, Parker Meadow, and Willards Woods.
- Project update (July 26, 2023): The Conservation Div. has worked with the Procurement Director to issue an invitation to bid, and they are currently evaluating price proposals in order to execute a contract to advance meadow preservation improvements, including invasive species management and native species plantings, by approximately 20 acres, depending on the final bid cost per acre.
- Benches and Picnic Tables at Open Spaces - $70,000
- Project description: Installation of a mix of standard and accessible picnic tables and benches at various parks and open spaces across Lexington. This project aims to improve seating options for users of all ages and abilities.
- Project update (July 26, 2023): Staff have placed purchase orders for the benches and picnic tables and are waiting on their delivery.
- Dog Park - $85,000
- Project description: Installation of fencing and dog waste disposal stations for the creation of a dog park. This project would be located on a parcel of Town-owned land that has not yet been identified. The dog park would provide a dedicated space for dogs to be off-leash, increasing opportunities for socialization of dogs and their owners.
- Project update (July 26, 2023): Public Works Dept., Recreation Dept., and Conservation Div. have reviewed 300+ Town-owned properties and have identified 3 potential locations. Site walks at these locations will take place on July 27, and staff will work to identify which site is most appropriate for this use.
Additional information about these projects will be made available as Town departments begin work to implement them.
Community submits ideas on how to spend the funds
July through September 16, 2022
Town staff vet ideas for cost and feasibility and develop them into proposals that can be voted on. Select Board narrows list of proposals before bringing to the public for a vote
September through February 2023
|Vote on Proposals|
Residents vote on their favorite proposals
February through April 7, 2023
Winning projects are implemented