By Sandi Latimer
The city of Columbus is bringing its popular Neighborhood Pride program to the Westland area this fall.
Scott Taylor, chairman of the Westland Area Commission, said the program will come to the area bounded by Hall Road on the north; Galloway Road on the west; Norton Road on the east; and Glenwillow on the south. The program will be in that area Oct.24-28.
“The Westland Area Commission is extremely excited that our area was chosen to be a part of this event,” Taylor said. “We hope it will bring the Westland area closer and maybe get more involvement from the community, which will help make change happen.”
Taylor and Mike McKay, a former commission chairman, worked on the application for the program that began with the start of Michael Coleman’s first term as mayor. The Westland Area was one of the first areas to have the Neighborhood Pride program.
Since then, residents had often complained they were ignored or shortchanged in city attention. Now that they are getting a visit from Neighborhood Pride, officials are happy.
“This is great news for the Westland Area,” said McKay. “We all take pride in where we live. But from time to time a spruce up is needed.”
That’s where Neighborhood Pride often helps out.
The program is designed to help with that spruce up by bringing neighbors together to show pride in their neighborhood, to help strengthen communities, and to build stronger relationships between neighborhoods and the city, McKay explained.
Part of this will be dealing with specific issues, such as replacing damaged trash containers, painting fire hydrants, dealing with inoperable vehicles on the neighborhood streets. Another part will be a neighborhood clean-up, a neighborhood safety academy to teach residents fundamental ways to make their homes safer and to protect their children, a community night town hall forum where residents can meet and talk with city officials and department representatives.
“This is a great opportunity for the Westland Area, and I’m excited that our residents and our neighborhoods will be getting the full attention of the city of Columbus during this event,” McKay said.
Also working on this program is commissioner David Van Order who points out that residents throughout the entire Westland area are invited to participate in the many activities. That area is bounded on the east by I-270, the Conrail tracks on the north, Hellbranch Creek on the west and Big Run on the south.
About six weeks prior to the event, commission members and city officials will tour the designated area looking for what needs attention. The city will then do such things as fix street lights, paint fire hydrants and do general beautification as well as search for any code violations.
The Westland Area Commission will be responsible for some other things leading up to that week. Members will notify the community through literature drops and provide volunteers for the various functions.
Some functions are safety related with police and fire departments doing presentations. A bicycle ride will be held one evening. Elementary school-aged children will have an opportunity to learn bicycle safety and middle school students will have the opportunity to participate in a talent show. Mayor Andrew W. Ginther will host a community meeting another night. The week’s activities end with a community cookout.
Residents can also apply for grants for home improvements. Beautiful Homes award will also be presented during the week.
Further information about Neighborhood Pride Week will be available at WAC meetings at 7 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month in the Osteopathic Heritage History building of Doctors Hospital.