These are the minutes from the Sandusky Neighborhood Advisory Committee's last meeting. The NAC's litter clean up schedule is posted in the sidebar. If you're interested in getting involved contact Sharon Johnson at 419-626-9813:
Neighborhood Advisory Committee Minutes May 2009
Community Garden: A location has been established for the community garden, which will be located at the Greenhouse with a start up time scheduled by the end of the third week of May.
Volunteers are needed to tend the garden as well as donations such as garden equipment, garden tools, and seeds. Darlene Armour will help Joshua and Lauren obtain donations from the flower and hardware stores as the stores have a budget set aside for such donations. Some of the committee’s grant monies might be available to put towards the cause.
The schools are expected to partner with Corso’s for a four season garden setup some time in the middle of summer for start up.
Housing listings of foreclosures: The committee is still working on their assignments investigating the 112 houses that have been foreclosed on by lenders for any violations of junk, garbage, paint peeling, high grass, vacancy, or for sale, etc. We need to have our assignments completed by next month’s meeting because Carrie’s department will need to move on the houses when the grants become available. A few of the houses are occupied and the city has told us that the lending institutions are starting to rent them out. We will need the rental information for our records in order to collect the rental and permit fees owed to the city.
Habitat and BAND are thinking about rehabilitating some of the vacant homes that look like they could be rehabilitated. Some of the homes are too far gone as they have been decaying for years and it would cost way too much to bring them up to state code. There is no longer a paint fund to make paint available for painting homes. An emergency fund has been established for people who cannot afford their own home repairs.
It takes between $6,000 to $10,000 to demolish a house. We have 7,000 rentals in town with 1,600 landlords. A tenant association has been established in town to educate landlords.
Grant Money Suggestions: It has been suggested to use some of the $25,000 grant money available on litter signs, advertising on billboards and more tire drop-off collections. If we had more collections maybe there would not be so much illegal tire dumping. We noticed that there are some old signs up with the $250 fine on them that will have to be taken down because the fine is now $500. The group is working on increasing the fines and posting new signs to reflect the new fine.
Cleanups: We gathered up 20 bags of trash on our first cleanup with twelve people participating.
Darlene has written an e-mail to Officer Ommert (School Resource Officer) asking for his help with promoting litter awareness to the students.
Susan intends to write a letter to the school superintendent asking that the school get involved with our trash can painting program. We intend to have students paint trash cans and run a contest for the best painted trash can in order to bring awareness of littering.
We encourage all of our committee members to volunteer to do at least one of the scheduled cleanups.
Garage Sale: The group would like to promote a garage sale and discussed several options of a downtown location to bring people downtown and at the same time get rid of their unwanted items. A table would probably cost $5 to $10. The locations talked about were Surf’s Up, city parking lot, Farmer’s Market, and possibly the county garage.
Absentee members: Any member missing three consecutive meetings will be taken off our member listing. New members are presently being recruited in our next issue of the City Messenger.
Grant for Pocket Ashtrays: The litter grant has been approved for $1,500. Erie Solid Waste District is in charge of the money as they are the grantee. Volunteers will be needed to go out and collect cigarette butts as an initial scan that is required by the grant. More scans will be needed to see how effective our program has become.
Twenty-one cigarette receptacles have been ordered. When they come in, they will be placed around the Jackson Street Pier, Schade Mylander Plaza and along Columbus Avenue between the Plaza and Washington Park. We are also obtaining several hundred pocket ashtrays to be handed out by the police department while patrolling the different events coming up downtown.
Promotional services: Firelands 411 and Eriewire have offered to help promote our community involvement through their websites. We appreciate their services in promoting more awareness of how not to litter and look forward to working with them.
Our next meeting will be at 5:00 p.m. at the fire station downtown on June 9th. There are some exciting things happening and progress is being made. Your help and attendance is needed in order for our committee to succeed.