Fulton Block Builder Recipients Help One Another In Many Ways

At the heart of the Healthy Neighborhood initiative (HNI) which is what Fulton Block Builders (FBB) is founded on~ is a shared sense of community.  Community is about engagement, sharing excitement and being good neighbors. All around the city you can find neighbors helping each other just as these three have done on the West Side.

Fulton NY

Many neighborhoods in transition lack a sense of community among their residents. The HNI approach provides the foundation for building neighborly relationships. Through Fulton Block Builders cultivate an environment that is conducive to managing neighborhood change. FBB builds a sense of community by focusing on civic engagement and empowering residents to work together on their properties and neighborhoods. FBB breaks from the traditional advocacy approach to community organizing and focuses on resident engagement. FBB’s primary goal is not to organize residents to be vocal about their neighborhoods and the problems that need to be addressed, but to encourage residents to become engaged in their community and neighborhood and to take a proactive role in creating positive change. The three gentlemen seen here in this photo are living proof that this concept is taking hold around the city of Fulton.

The First Fulton Block Builders Award Check Is Presented

The First Fulton Block Builders Award Check Is Presented

Albert and Ellen Zaranka are the first of 161 homeowners in the city of Fulton to receive their Fulton Block Builder – Block Challenge check. The couple have completed over $2,300.00 worth of exterior enhancements to their property, but only requested a $500.00 - match even though he could have requested the maximum $1,000.00. “I wanted to be a part of our block application and show support of my neighbors but also wanted to see the Block Builder money go as far as it could “said Mr. Zaranka. “We’re proud homeowners and like to take care of our property. I hope this program will inspire others to do so. Fulton has a long history of strong and friendly residents, I think FBB reminds us that we each have a part in where our city goes from here.”

Mike Peterson and Kelly Niccoli are the volunteer FBB Ambassadors for Zaranka’s area of the city. Mike said, ‘The seeds for reclaiming Fulton have been planted and now we are beginning to bloom.”

While talking with Albert and Ellen, FBB learned that they are new and very interesting residents of our community. They purchased their English County Cottage home eighteen months ago because of its fascinating architecture, the beautiful upstate summers and because Ellen grew up in the area. The couple moved here from Durham, North Carolina after long and varied careers in the arts and business. Ellen was a Personnel Director with offices in New York City and Hong Kong while Al was a concert pianist teaching and preforming on many stages including Broadway. “I think this program (FBB) brings people closer together. It’s good to be out front planting and getting to know each other.” said Al. “Sharing a ladder or a piece of equipment is a good way to get to know people.” said Ellen. We can already see positive changes.

The Fulton Block Builder project is dedicated to revitalizing our neighborhoods one block at a time. It is based on the Healthy Neighborhood Initiative and follows the positive lessons learned by the Oswego Renaissance Association. The core feature of this approach is to build on strengths rather than just fix weaknesses. Bringing homeowners together in one block builds community and generates confidence that their investment will financially pay off. 

I Love My Neighborhood!

How are you doing with getting to know the people in your neighborhood? I’ve been working hard at talking with my neighbors and getting to know them more the past couple weeks.

This week, while my family was on vacation, I watched as my 10-year old daughter hopped in the pool at our hotel and in less than 10 minutes she had made a new friend. By the end of the day they had exchanged mailing addresses and promised to write each other. Deep down, I think we all want to be like my daughter…smiling at people we don’t know and making new friends wherever we go. She makes it look so easy!

My neighbor calls himself a loner and keeps to himself mostly. I’m an introvert, but once you get to know me, I’m a very good listener and can get someone to talk about themselves in a very short time. For my neighbor who thinks of himself as a loner, that was a nice hour-long conversation we had on your porch the other day. ☺ I learned more about him and the history of my neighborhood in that hour than I have in the 10 years I’ve lived here.

My soon to be 95 year old neighbor loves to sit on her porch in the warm weather and watch my two girls playing outside. We often join her on the porch, sipping lemonade together, nibbling on homemade cookies, and catching up on our families. Sometimes we take our lawn chairs outside on the grass and sit under the big red maple tree in her yard, and as other neighbors stroll by, occasionally they stop to chat with us.

Smile and wave to those people in your neighborhood! If you listen quietly, you will hear it…the buzz of neighbors talking and getting to know each other.

Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

I asked myself this question recently… “Do I know who the people are in my neighborhood?” Yes, some of them, but not as many as I would like though. It’s time to change that.

I grew up knowing most of my neighbors within a one-mile radius near my home. As a kid, I loved being able to ride my bike all over the neighborhood, often stopping to talk with my neighbors or gathering a bunch of kids for a pick-up game of baseball in the open lot down the road from my house.

As I walk around talking to my neighbors about Fulton Block Builders and our city, it’s very heartening to hear the sense of hope they still feel. If you listen very quietly, you will hear it…the buzz of excited people. Now is the time to do something…time to reimagine and grow our community, become civically re-engaged…time to take pride once again in the city of Fulton and make our neighborhoods better than ever. You can be the difference in your neighborhood!

Pre-Applications are Being Extended To Friday April 14, 2017.

Fulton Block Builders fundraising has been so successful that the deadline for Pre-Applications is being extended to, Friday April 14, 2017, to accommodate more Blocks wishing to participate.

The Fulton Block Builders (FBB) made the determination to extend the due date for the Pre-Applications to Friday April 14th. We have decided to do this for two reasons. First and foremost, this is because of the enormously successful Fundraising Campaign. Since the money is available, the FBB Committees would like to see as many blocks as possible participating. The second reason for the extension is because March gave us two weekends of adverse weather that made it difficult for people to get out and talk to their neighbors.

Even though the deadline is being extended we are STRONGLY encouraging blocks to turn in their Pre-Applications as soon as possible so that the Ambassadors can begin helping each Block with their Final Application.

City residents who would like to participate in the program need to form a neighborhood group with a minimum of 50% of the property owners in their vicinity. The group can include homeowners or landlords. Once formed, just sign the simple pre-application form and submit it as a group. The matching grant funding will cover expenses for exterior property improvements to groups of homeowners in a single block, throughout the city of Fulton. Aside from matching grant funding, participating homeowners have access to discounts by using the historical paint colors and from sponsoring hardware & garden centers.

Each participating property owner in a Challenge Block is eligible to receive a dollar-for-dollar match on exterior improvements (visible from the street), up to $1,000. If $500 is spent, a $250 match will be made. If $2,000 or more is spent the match will be $1,000. (minus taxes). There is no “catch”, there is no income requirement, there is no payback! Each block simply needs to organize, sign you name to a pre-application, talk and plan with your neighbors and get ready to start making improvements this spring and summer. All work must be completed by October 31, 2017 to qualify for the matching funds.

IMPORTANT DATES REGARDING 2017 Fulton Block Builders:

  • Friday April 14 – Pre-applications are due

  • Monday May 1 – Final applications are due

  • By Monday May 15th – FBB grant awardees announced 

The Rebirth of Fulton

At a recent potluck dinner, Fulton Block Builders gathered together to share updates and talk about what’s been going on at committee meetings over the past few weeks.

It was very exciting to hear all the discussions taking place and feel the sense of togetherness, commitment, dedication, and determination to bring people together again, regain our sense of pride, and revitalize neighborhoods in the City of Fulton.

We have gained momentum and the community support behind Fulton Block Builders is growing very quickly. We love to hear that others feel the same way about our little city as we do.

This year, homeowners all across the city of Fulton will be working together to restore pride in their neighborhoods, reshaping Fulton one block at a time. Join us - you can be the difference in your neighborhood!

We Need You!

Spring is fast approaching and I can’t wait for winter to be over! Why, you ask? So many exciting things are going to happen in Fulton this year!

We’ve all been waiting for a glimpse of hope, something that will help our neighborhoods feel like a real community…neighbors helping neighbors, neighborhoods getting together for a cookout, kids playing hide-n-seek or tag. I’m ready to take on the challenge of making our city a place we can be proud of again…are you?

People are talking and the good news is spreading. Support is steadily growing among the local business community.

We are extremely grateful for the $25,000 donation from Pathfinder Bank. 

Pathfinder Bank

We are also very grateful for the $1,500 donation from John and Barb Sharkey from Universal Properties and Universal Metal Works, over $1,000 from the Fulton Sunrise Rotary, and another donation of $1,000 from the Fulton Lions Club!

Sharkey Donation
Fulton Lion's Club
Rotary Club

Now we need your support! You can help make a difference with a donation of any amount... every donation received will get us much closer to the match needed for the Shineman Foundation grant.