Bond neighborhood eager for improvements

The Greater Bond Community is working with the city to make improvements in the neighborhood.
Photo Submitted by Alea Williams

The Greater Bond community updated its Neighborhood First plan Monday at the Smith-Williams Service Center Annex.

Residents are expecting new sidewalks, streetscaping and improved lighting.

The Neighborhood First plan members announced that they have received $500,000 for residential housing façades, Spencer Stephens Park improvements and engagement around community infrastructure.

 “I will be working to help implement the infrastructure from the Greater Bond neighborhood. What we need from the community is to start to prioritize these streets in the budget and how much money will be allocated towards these streets,” Steve Shafer, Tallahassee city engineer, said at the meeting.

The Greater Bond priority areas are community beautification, economic development and resident empowerment, land use, neighborhood safety and crime prevention.

Leaders of the program said that each block will have a different design update and the neighborhood will be improved block by block.

“You’ll see progress and we will keep (the public) updated as we go along,” Shafer said.

The housing façade is another aspect to the Neighborhood First plan. Leann Watts-Williams, neighborhood service coordinator, said, “The purpose is to improve the aesthetics in the Greater Bond Neighborhood and we’ll serve as a model for other neighborhoods.”

The program includes approved applications for driveway installation or repairs, exterior painting, replacement of railings installation or repair of doors and windows and many other services.

“I think the most impactful part of the program, would be the most visible which is the community cleanup. You can see the difference where they can repair the homes and its hands on and I think it would make the most impact. We continue to work the program and the program will work for us,” Dawn Howard, meeting attendee and local carpenter, said.

Another key aspect leaders are discussing is the neighborhood safety program. The program has partnered with numerous organizations like the Boys & Girls Club, BLAST Program and a new neighborhood watch program. They have more than 125 people mentoring students at Bond Elementary School and a number of other schools.

Residents talked about the use of cameras at locations in the neighborhood. Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo said, “This is your neighborhood we want you to be helped and served. TPD is not looking to force anything that people don’t want. The idea is how can we improve the quality of life for you and your families.”

Residents mentioned that they want to see movement with the plan and that it’s been in effect for over a year. Leaders of the program said these updates are expected to be done by fall 2019.