Less talk, more action: City Commissioners tour Frenchtown, discuss projects
January 28, 2020
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Tallahassee City Commissioners learned a little more about Frenchtown, a major neighborhood in the community focused on revitalization.
Frenchtown is part of a Community Redevelopment Agency district, with multiple public and private projects happening there.
City leaders had a set route for the walking tour; however, several residents came out of their homes as they walked through the neighborhood to let the commissioners know face-to-face what they want to see happen in Frenchtown.
The revitalization effort is evident: Resident Linda Tomlinson says she and other residents transformed an overgrown parking lot into a playground.
"Over the course of two or three months, it took a lot of hands on, but we were eventually able to level it, bring in some toys, and this has been the go-to for people in the neighborhood," Tomlinson says.
The first stop on the tour was Goodbread.
"This has always been home," Tomlinson said. "And I'm glad I came back."
The people who call the neighborhood home are proud of it.
"I love the family environment, I love the people who always look after one another. It's safe," Tomlinson said.
Commissioners then moved on to Carolina Oaks. They even stepped inside the home of local artist Annie Harris.
"I like the diversity of the neighbors that have moved back to Frenchtown," Harris said. "It's great, we have children, we have adults, we have college kids."
Frenchtown residents say they hope the Heritage Trail project will be completed soon; however, that's not the only thing they feel needs to be addressed.
"We also need to pay attention to the roads, to the streetlights, sewer, water, make sure that we have the proper infrastructure to support the neighborhood," Mayor John Dailey said.
The City Commission says it's ready to take action working with the CRA.
"There's always been hope in Frenchtown but we have to stop hoping and start doing," City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow said. "I think there were some lighting concerns, housing concerns. I think what really stuck with me is our tour guide said we have a lot of meetings but we don't make a lot of progress. I think this Commission in particular is ready to see some progress being made in Frenchtown."
Tomlinson says takes pride in her own work, but she is excited to see what the commission can dream up.
"If they're going to fight for the community and make it better, I'm on their side," she says.
The CRA Board meets on Thursday, and it will be taking a look at funding to finish the Heritage Trail.