The Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. had a citywide meeting at the Covelli Centre on April 8th, recapping their meetings throughout Youngstown’s neighborhoods. Neighborhood characteristics and community facilities such as churches, schools and parks were among the top assets, while crime, poor infrastructure, housing and property issues topped the list of concerns. Rick Pollo has more.
That’s YNDC Neighborhood Planner Tom Hetrick addressing about 40 residents in the Community Room of the Covelli Centre. He outlined some of the major concerns voiced by city residents during the past months’ meetings.
Along with population loss and vacant properties, the city faces a problem with out-of-state property owners who don’t maintain their property. An issue YNDC Deputy Director Ian Beniston hopes to alleviate.
BENISTON: You can’t just outright outlaw people that don’t live here from buying the property, but there are strategies we can put in place to ensure people have a better sense of what they’re getting into.
Resident Kathy Szmaj says the city should do more to attract new homeowners.
SZMAJ: Frustrating to see our neighborhoods decaying. There’s marketing that can be done. There’re beautiful parts of the city that I think people that live outside the area don’t know.
Szmaj says another neighborhood plan won’t get off the ground in time to have significant impact.
SZMAJ: But who’s coming up with this plan? And when something’s not done in a year, who do I come back to?
YNDC Executive Director Presley Gillespie says past plans had the vision, but lacked the execution strategies YNDC is going to implement.
GILLESPIE: I think the difference now in going forward is the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. has a great talented staff of energetic and smart individuals that are not only going to put the strategies together but get the work done.
The YNDC plans to formulate a plan of action based on residents’ concerns. For TheNewsOutlet.org, I’m Rick Pollo.
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