Revising codes for nuisance properties. Planning for the future. Cheering on those who run to be healthier. Scheduling clean-up days. It’s another busy fall for the Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) and the 21 neighborhoods it serves.
Grass cut quicker
With the recommendations from Building Development Services and the support of the NAC, City Council approved nuisance ordinance changes in June to reduce the length of grass in violation from 12 inches to 7. It also provided City staff with streamlined notice provisions which will also contractors to act several days quicker than in the past.
Eye on the horizon
NAC participated in two separate planning sessions in August. The first was to provide input on the priorities for the consolidated plan for federal Community Development Block Grant funds over the next five years. The City is surveying dozens of different groups to shape how it will invest monies for affordable housing, economic development, public services, infrastructure and public facilities.
The next week, NAC members were one of several workshops hosted by the City for a planning process for a new Comprehensive Plan called Forward SGF. It will take the place of Vision 20/20 and become a blueprint for the next 20 years. Neighborhood leaders were asked to identify five areas they would like to see enhanced for the city and then prioritize the top three topics out of all those listed by the group. The feedback will be gathered by the consultant, along with information obtained by community workshops across the city in early September. Residents can also offer their ideas through do-it-yourself kits available to neighborhoods and/or by going to forwardsgf.com with its innovative engagement tools, including an interactive mapping application called map.social.
Cheer runners with your neighbors
Melissa Bondy from the Bass Pro Marathon provided information on this year’s event and how neighborhoods can win a prize of up to $2,000 for cheering on the runners. It will be on Sunday, Nov. 3 and neighborhoods must have groups of 10 or more to be eligible for awards.
Community Partnership will begin its fall schedule of neighborhood clean-ups in September. It’s a great chance to free up space in the garage and remove brush and leaves. The City has budgeted clean-ups for all its recognized neighborhoods. Check with your neighborhood to see if its clean-up day will be in the fall or spring.
The bottom line is that neighborhoods are at their best when the many take the time to do a little – mowing an extra bit of right-of-way, assisting a neighbor who’s behind in their yard work, investing a couple of hours to envision what could be, dressing up in a poodle skirt on a frosty fall Sunday morning to cheer on runners, or making a truck available to haul off a few wayward couches and mattresses.
All these seemingly small acts of kindness ultimately make a big difference. Thank you to all those who are doing your part to make Springfield a little better than how you found it.