A new blueprint for Binghamton

By Matt Porter

February 25, 2013 Updated Feb 26, 2013 at 11:22 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A $500,000 federal grant is awarded to Binghamton to encourage community involvement as the city creates a new comprehensive plan for the next decade.

Binghamton was just one of 27 cities in the country to receive the grant, and the only city in New York.

Tarik Abdelazim, Director of Planning for Binghamton's Department of Housing and Community Development, said the plan will become the baseline for new growth and development.

"A project that when it's finished represents all that we want Binghamton to be in 10 to 20 years, that's what this is about," Abdelazim said. "It's about us opening the doors, and going out to the neighbors, and finding out exactly what residents want to see for their children and their grandchildren down the road."

The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The HUD program will fund an 18-month campaign to get the community involved in creating the next comprehensive plan.

It will include multiple public campaigns to get residents involved from all parts of the city. They will launch their website this weekend, but their Facebook Page is already active.

The first chance residents will have to give their input will be Friday during the First Friday Art Walk.

City officials will staff their design studio on Main Street in the old First National Bank building from three to nine in the evening this Friday.

The center will also be open Saturday during the St. Patrick's Day parade.