Editor's note: Rosie O'Grady is co-chair of the Northwest Area Partnership of neighborhoods. The Your Neighbor column is written by a member of a local nonprofit group and appears frequently in Neighbors.
As per custom, after introductions of neighborhoods attending, at last month's meeting we welcomed Mayor Thomas Henry as we usually do each year.
Interesting to know is that our mayor and city employ 2,000 people to keep our city running. Henry spoke about the Legacy funds, particularly about sports, downtown underpasses and riverfront improvements. He spoke about returning Fairfield (Avenue) to two-way traffic since the GE (General Electric) traffic that caused the one way no longer exists.
University of Saint Francis is considering building dorms downtown to complement their downtown investment of buildings there. He also talked about acquisition of Aqua Source, but I understand mediation is still ongoing.
We have to caution about the difference between wants and needs during these difficult times, and to choose those things that affect the lives and safety of our community. For instance, trees: Everyone loves trees and the ambiance they provide, but presently there's more damaged trees than money available to remove them. As a result, the most damaged trees are being removed first, leaving many people wondering why the city hasn't removed others.
Once again, we're reminded that the city pays $5 to anyone wishing to spruce up their neighborhoods by painting the fire hydrants with free paint and brushes provided. Call 311 to make a contact to paint hydrants in your neighborhood.
•Palermo Galindo, the mayor's liaison, spoke about salt barrels you see in neighborhoods ,especially near intersections and other icy areas. The neighborhood provides the barrels (stores them out of season) and places them at the most needed places, while the city keeps them filled. To become part of the process, call 311 and complete a form.
•Mark Salomon of Neighborhood Code Enforcement reminded us that spring isn't that far away, and the Weed Program will be underway once again.
•Jim Murua of the Fort Wayne Fire Department noted red hydrants are privately owned, while the yellow ones are publically owned. He also cautioned against linking too many extension cords together at once and to check your batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
•Northwest Division Deputy Chief Marty Bender of Fort Wayne Police talked about the robberies and said most of the robbers pick up these techniques while incarcerated and apply them while they're released.
Dennis Sherman of Woodlands of Riverside won the door prize, and Tom Reinhart of Courtyards of Dawson Creek took home a beautiful, glass ornament donated by Judi Wire, owner of Great Panes Glass on Wells Street.
Tomorrow night's meeting will feature three round-robin speakers from the Fort Wayne Parks Department, who will keep us informed on the future of Salomon Farm, dead trees and an overview of the parks. The round-robin setting is popular with people since they can hear the speaker very well and can ask questions, too.