Bexley News

Low turnout could end watch group, not overall effort

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Despite lack of participation in a neighborhood block watch meeting last weekend, the city of Bexley will continue to work to improve safety in the Ferndale Place and Mayfield Place communities in southwest Bexley, Bexley police Sgt. Dawn Overly-Sheterom said.

The block watch meeting was scheduled for 5 p.m. June 21 in the Bexley Community Garden, located at the intersection of Ferndale and Mayfield. Ferndale Place resident Ruth Mickens, who organized the block watch, was the only resident in attendance.

Mickens, who has attended numerous Bexley City Council meetings in recent months and asked city officials to improve safety and living conditions in her neighborhood, said she plans to move out of Bexley at the end of the month to find a safer neighborhood at a comparable rent to what she currently pays.

Whether the Ferndale/Mayfield block watch can continue without Mickens' involvement is unclear.

"You have to have people that want (the block watch) and care about the community," Overly-Sheterom said.

Overly-Sheterom said the city will continue to work to address issues in the area. On June 10, council unanimously approved two ordinances aimed at increasing safety and improving overall conditions in the Ferndale/Mayfield area. One ordinance allows the city "to repair or improve code violations and collect the expenses associated with said work in instances where property owners fail, neglect or refuse to comply with the requirements of code enforcement notices."

The second created the "Ferndale and Mayfield Place residential rehabilitation grant program to provide matching grants to residential property owners and tenants on Ferndale Place and Mayfield Place for qualifying landscape and trash enclosure improvements."

The city has also announced plans to install new streetlights on Ferndale and Mayfield this year.

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