What: Monthly meeting of the Northwest Area Partnership of neighborhoods.
When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: Northridge Baptist Church, 1300 E. Cook Road.
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Editor's note: Rosie O'Grady is co-chair of the Northwest Area Partnership of neighborhoods. The Your Neighbor column is written by a member of a local nonprofit group and appears frequently in Neighbors.
Last month's meeting was called to order with introductions all around. Appropriate thanks was given to Northridge Baptist Church (our hosts), donors of refreshments and volunteers who help so much.
Treasurer Denny Zimmerman announced that the abandoned home at 2323 Wayside Drive will finally be demolished after five years of code violations.
During Good of the Cause, Jean Mendenhall was recognized as the latest recipient of the North Side High School Distinguished Alumni award.
Michelle Briggs Wedaman, Brookview neighborhood association president, spoke about the possible widening of State Boulevard from Cass Street to Spy Run. This has become very contentious between the city and the people. Twelve homes reportedly will be bought out, the street straightened and the bridge over Spy Run Creek raised.
The city claims that will stop flooding in the area, while the neighborhoods fear this will become a major truck route that will destroy the charm of their historic neighborhood, among other differences. The people would like to sit down with the city to work out their differences and remove their fears.
This is another example of community-oriented government when the two sides can't agree but need to sit down together and put their ideas forward to come to a conclusion that will satisfy all.
We heard the following reports:
•Palmero Galindo, neighborhood liaison, reported the October neighborhood president's meeting will concern by-laws and covenants.
•Neighborhood Code Enforcement reports they will soon begin collecting debris left from the storm that hasn't yet been cleaned up. Unoccupied homes will receive a cleanup notice before the cleaning up, while occupied homes will be cleaned and billed for the service.
•Allen Lauer of the City Utilities Advisory Group recommended we report any “ robo” calls if we can get a number or name of the caller and to call the Attorney General at 1-800-834-9969.
•Jim Murua of Fort Wayne Fire Department talked about a fundraiser to be held at the Neon Armadillo, a traditional soccer match with the Fort Wayne Police Department, and that there should be absolutely no burning of storm debris.
•Marty Bender of Fort Wayne Police said crime has been down 2.2 percent since August and that they've broken up several chop shops for bikes of all kinds operating in the city. This is where stolen bikes end up being sold for parts or selling as is.
Bender attributed a recent rash of shootings to gangs, saying that is how they settle disputes nowadays and witnesses are too frightened to step forward, so very little is ever solved.
•City Councilman Russ Jehl, R-2nd District, said budget hearings will be ongoing for quite awhile and increasing taxes seems evident.
Our guest speaker for the evening was Ken Scheibenberger, the city's drug house coordinator. He spoke about his experiences as an Allen County judge and how that helps him in his new capacity. He said landlords must be careful not to rent to people selling drugs or involved in prostitution or gambling, and there are stiff fines involved if they do.
He talked about synthetic drugs being more difficult to enforce than meth (methamphetamine) or others because of their ever-changing properties and the difficulty identifying what they are. If you have any suspicions regarding drugs, prostitution or gambling, you are urged to call 427-1262.
Tomorrow night, our speaker will be Dan Avery, who will talk about everything regarding transportation in our city. Dan is the executive director of Northeast Indiana Regional Coordinating Council (NIRCC).
We are also accepting nominations for co-chair (Rod Vargo will be stepping down) and secretary. Rod has been a valuable co-chair who learned fast and stepped up to the plate very quickly, and we look forward to another with similar credentials.
So nominations will be a very important part of October's meeting, while November will be elections and discussion of topics you'd like to hear about or speakers you're interested in hearing from.
Two more lucky winners took home beautiful glass artwork donated by Judi Wire, owner of Great Panes on Wells Street, while another person won the attendance prize. Hope to see you Thursday at our regular time and place, with the usual coffee and refreshments.