City Council members in Bangor, Maine, have approved a decrease in the municipal property tax rate that is expected to save residents a collective $500,000 annually. The decrease was facilitated by additional funds from a state revenue-sharing program and the local school committee, councilmember Dan Tremble said.
Los Angeles City Council members have approved an ordinance that bans people experiencing homelessness from setting up camp on driveways, sidewalks, overpasses and on-ramps, as well as near schools, parks, libraries and homeless shelters. If Mayor Eric Garcetti gives final approval to the ordinance, violators will face fines if they do not relocate camps within two weeks of being warned.
Officials in Fredericton, New Brunswick, have commissioned First Nations artist Percy Sacobie to create an 8-by-24 painting for the departure lounge at the Fredericton airport. "[I]t's a significant and highly visible statement about the city's commitment to culture, and it is also a statement of inclusion and a significant effort to recognize the presence of First Nations in our community and in a visible way in Fredericton," said David Seabrook, the city's manager of tourism and culture.
The end of a moratorium on evictions enacted by the CDC will likely bring a new wave of people experiencing homelessness in New Orleans, city officials say. Health Department officials note that many people experiencing homelessness hesitate to stay in shelters.
City Council members in Mount Rainier, Md., have voted unanimously to hire Department of Public Works Director Kourosh Kamali as city manager, effective Aug. 2. "We had a bunch of good applicants, but we felt that Mr. Kamali has shown, as a public works director, his competence and his ability to produce results and that he knows our city," Jimmy Tarlau, a councilmember, said.
Commissioners in St. Johns County, Fla., have approved a 1-cent increase in the local Tourist Development Tax, which is levied on short-term rentals and hotel stays in the county. The county anticipates the increase will increase revenue from the tax to $16 million annually.
Urban design firm ecoLogicStudio has debuted an algae-powered solution to air pollution at a playground in Warsaw, Poland, which ranks among the worst European cities for air quality. The AirBubble surrounds a small circular playground and features tubes filled with algae that consume pollutants and produce fresh oxygen.
Humboldt and Palmisano parks in Chicago have Chronolog stations, where visitors can take photos and submit them to a time-lapse series that tracks seasonal and environmental changes.
The Parks, Jobs, and Equity Act bill introduced in Congress "will provide a much-needed investment in urban parks across the country and will be a welcome relief as park and recreation professionals and the agencies they represent continue to recover from the severe impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic," says Elvis Cordova, vice president of public policy and advocacy at the National Recreation and Park Association. The bill would offer $500 million in park grants.
A pool is under construction at Hard'ack Recreation Area in St. Albans, Vt., as part of a voter-approved, $4.75 million project that also includes $250,000 in upgrades at Houghton Park. The pool will have a variety of water areas, a check-in center and restrooms.
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