NAC advocates for cleanups, blight abatement and planning efforts


Each year, the Neighborhood Advisory Council advocates to City leadership for resources to support Springfield’s 24 registered neighborhoods. The focus areas for the upcoming 2024-25 budget include additional neighborhood clean-ups, more staffing for Building Development Services to address blighted properties, and funding for the implementation of Forward SGF.

Becky Volz, 2023-2024 NAC chair

Annual neighborhood cleanups have proven over the past two decades to be one of the most effective forms of grassroots engagement throughout our community. The growth in registered neighborhoods (at 24 now, up from 16 a few years ago), combined with dramatically escalating labor costs, have resulted in much higher contractor bids from local waste haulers. NAC is requesting an additional $90,000 per year to provide one cleanup for each neighborhood per year for these core clean, safe, and friendly services.

Assertively addressing residential blight will require more coordination. Adding two new management positions in Building Development Services (estimated to be an additional $110,000) would provide much-needed capacity for the demands of balancing residential problem properties and facilitating commercial development. Public safety is enhanced not only through police and fire, but through the enforcement of life-safety violations. NAC believes ensuring safe housing is an appropriate allocation of the new marijuana sales tax funds.

NAC requests $75,000 to support the implementation of the Forward SGF comprehensive plan by targeting resources for more strategic planning on two key corridors (Sunshine Street and Campbell Avenue and West Bypass and James River Freeway). Additionally, we support allocating discretionary funds to support public education on topics prioritized by Forward SGF. Proactively investing in planning and neighborhoods can pay meaningful dividends in reducing the tension between development and neighborhoods as noted over the past four years.

Neighborhoods appreciate the strong relationship we have with City staff and City Council members as we all work together to enhance Springfield’s quality of life through grassroots clean-ups, blight abatement and planning.


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