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City Commission set to vote on Griffin Heights improvement plan

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 7:29 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Tallahassee City Commission will vote Wednesday evening to approve 2 million dollars of city funding for a revitalization plan of the Griffin Heights neighborhood.

Residents and community leaders have been working on the “Neighborhood First” plan for years. Residents told reporters that they would like to see empty lots utilized, healthy food options, and job opportunities, along with tackling the issue of crime.

Local Ella Head spends her time cleaning up trash along her street and working with the plants in her garden. She says she’s seen a lot of changes in the last 50 years while living in the area.

“I‘ve seen a lot of increase in crime,” said Head.

That’s where the Griffin Heights neighborhood first plan comes in, with four kickoff projects. The first is renovating an empty Alabama Street property, to use for food or retail.

”That would be an ideal thing, because it needs to be utilized. And just to have it sitting there, and be all blank like that, it’s no good,” said Head.

Other projects include a microenterprise development program, a Griffin Heights children and family resource center, and a homeownership program. They plan on constructing on empty lots , and rehabbing existing homes.

”That makes it a community,” said New Birth Tabernacle of Praise pastor Rudy Ferguson. ”It gives it more value. It gives it more prestige. Not just that, but it also makes the residents and those who live in this community proud to be a part of Griffin Heights neighborhood.”

According to Ferguson, homeownership is a top priority. He’s also hoping for more jobs in the area. Currently, they have an unemployment rate of 10 percent.

”Employment opportunities over here would be magnificent, because we do have a lot of people in this community who are unemployed unfortunately,” said Ferguson.

In the meantime, Ella Head continues to cultivate her garden, and nurture her neighborhood.

”I just love to see things growing, productive. Growing and looking good!” said Head. “Because that too makes a good neighborhood. It makes it healthy.”

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