A new neighborhood association has formed with the intention of keeping neighbors aware of local issues.
The South Bexley Community Association held its first meeting Sept. 9 at the Bexley Public Library, which attracted about 38 people.
Montrose Avenue resident Nancy Belay said she and a few other residents decided to join together after attending a Bexley Planning Commission meeting earlier this year. Belay said she and her neighbors were surprised to find out details at the meeting about Capital University's proposal to add lighting and a new sound system to its Bernlohr Stadium.
"Most of us realized we weren't as informed as we thought we were about city government," she said.
At a June 19 Planning Commission meeting in which Belay and dozens of other south Bexley residents voiced concerns about noise, congestion and safety, Capital officials announced the university had decided to indefinitely table its proposal. But a group of residents decided that although the stadium issue may have gone away for now, they should keep meeting in order to be aware of potential developments in the area, Belay said.
"The people aren't involved, aren't politically active," she said. "We're just residents who want to be informed."
The South Bexley Community Association encompasses the area bounded by East Main Street on the north, East Livingston Avenue on the south, South Gould Road on the east and College Avenue on the west.
"Any businesses that fall in that area are welcome to be involved, too," Belay said.
Mayor Ben Kessler, who attended the association's Sept. 9 meeting, said the city will provide information and support to the group as needed.
"Based on the conversation at the first meeting, I think the purpose of the association is to form a cohesive group of residents from south Bexley in order to strengthen communication within the neighborhood and advocate for the best interests of the residents," he said.
A similar group in northeast Bexley formed a couple of years ago and has continued to be active when issues arise, such as an upcoming meeting to discuss next summer's water line and roadwork in the area, Kessler said.
"We also have several block watch groups that are more localized, but similar in some ways," he said. "Block watches are a great way to build up community in your area and to provide for good routes of communication within the neighborhood."
Members of the South Bexley Community Association plan to rotate duties of attending the city's planning and zoning meetings and inform neighbors of developments that may affect their neighborhoods, Belay said.
The association will continue to hold monthly meetings at the Bexley Public Library, 2411 E. Main St., through December. Meetings will be held on the first Monday of each month, except for October. That meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 8 because of a scheduling issue.
Though Capital University's now-tabled stadium proposal is what brought residents together, Belay said the association will address a variety of issues affecting south Bexley.
"I'm hoping that this goes beyond this incident" with Capital's lighting and sound proposal, she said. "It feels good to me to be connected to neighbors."
For more information about the South Bexley Community Association, contact Belay at firstname.lastname@example.org.