By Amanda Amsel
Prairie Township is taking steps to protect the community, as well as clean up blighted homes.
At a recent board meeting, the trustees discussed a collaboration with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Erica Russell talked about the Rape Aggression Defense Systems (R.A.D.) class the township will be hosting starting Sept. 22. The four-week class will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. every Thursday until Oct. 13 at the township community center, 5955 W. Broad St.
“This class is free to everyone and you don’t have to be a township resident to sign up,” Russell said. “With so much crime out there, this is great class to learn how to protect yourself and prepare yourself for any situation.”
The R.A.D. class is a female-only course that focuses on awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance and women as young as 12 years old can participate.
During Russell’s presentation to the board, she also discussed how four intersections in Prairie Township were in the top 100 regional high-crash intersections. These intersections and their rankings were Feder Road and Fisher Road at Hilliard Rome Road at number 16; South Murray Hill Road at West Broad Street at number 54; West Broad Street at Norton Road at number 86; and West Broad Street at Old Village Road at number 94.
“A lot of these had similar rankings as last year and some were lower on the list than they were in the past, which is good,” Russell said. “We are evaluating these and intersection improvements are already in progress, so more information on that will be coming.”
Also at the meeting, several residents addressed the board about ongoing issues with nuisance properties in their neighborhoods.
“Can you please tell me why after they are declared nuisance properties residents still have time to fix the issue,” asked Melissa Martin, township resident. “If they are declared, why is the issue not immediately fixed?”
According to Prairie Township Trustee Stephen Kennedy, a resident has until township personnel knock on the door to abate the property.
“We try to give everyone a chance to fix the issue,” Kennedy said. “We want to be fair to everyone and want to give everyone a chance to correct things before we step in.”
Residents urged the trustees to reexamine their policies, saying it is unfair to give people additional time to abate homes, as well as not be stricter on repeat offenders.
Kennedy did say that once a property is already declared a nuisance, having the property abated is quicker, but is still not as quick as some residents would like.