Youngstown Residents Vent Concerns at Community Meeting - Vindicator

Residents from other parts of the city joined several Idora-area residents Thursday evening to discuss the Idora and the Fosterville areas of the South Side.

Some at the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. meeting felt that the Idora area is focused on too heavily, while other areas in the city need more attention.

“We hope the prosperity [here] spreads across the city,” said Bruce Harapcio, Idora resident. “It would be a privilege to be a model to the rest of the city.”

This was the fifth of nine meetings, this one hosted at the Rescue Mission administrative office on Glenwood Avenue, by the YNDC to discuss its “Neighborhood Conditions Report.” The goal is to receive feedback from residents about what they feel are the assets in their community and the priority areas that need to be addressed.

“We understand how important it is to be on the same page as everyone,” said Bill D’Avignon, director of community development and planning for the city.

Areas of discussion during the meeting were demolition, blight and limited funding the city has.

“We are here to get your input,” D’Avignon said. “We cannot address everyone, everywhere.”

A concern was the issue of a “demo list” the city has and what has happened with that list, if it still exists.

Mayor John A. McNally, who attended the meeting, said the demolition process is being reviewed and the city is trying to identify what homes need to be taken down.

“We are trying to straighten up some of the procedures,” McNally told the residents.

Outside of the issues discussed, there was talk of improvement in the neighborhoods.

Home-sale prices have increased in the Idora neighborhood.

The number of homes mortgaged through banks is low in the neighborhood, but when community loans are taken into consideration, the area actually is the sixth-highest in the city for homes bought with loaned funds.

Violent crime rate has decreased in the area over the years.

Idora was revitalized over the years through both city and community work to deal with decaying or vacant homes and crime.

Linda Jenkins, a Newport neighborhood resident, commented on the need to divide city funds for each area of the city and focus on fixing catch basins.

“I guess they made [Idora] a model,” Jenkins said. “This is where they soak all of the money into.”

She felt the meeting and a prior meeting she went to hosted by the YNDC are good starting points for progression in the city.

“I would love to see some action,” Jenkins said.

Harapcio felt the meeting was proactive and the “community’s voice was heard.”

“We are citizens of the city. We see it 24/7. We live here. We see what goes on day in and day out,” Harapcio said. “They can look to us for direction.”

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