Constructing a Utica District Park playground accessible to disabled children is estimated to cost about $120,000, but officials are not waiting and wishing for money from the county.
They’re not depending on state or federal grant dollars or even banking on a public-private partnership to make the park a reality.
Instead, they’ve issued an appeal to the Internet to see if online generosity could present a new solution for dealing with tight county budgets.
The money-gathering effort for the Utica park playground represents the county’s first foray into crowdfunding, or waging online campaigns to raise money for a project.
The concept of crowdfunding was popularized by the website Kickstarter, which links artists and entrepreneurs with online donors willing to patronize their creative work. However, an increasing number of local governments are seizing on the same idea as they seek innovative ways of bankrolling public projects.
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