September 11, 2013

West End Association lays out plan

Here's what the West End Association proposed last night at the City Council meeting:

West End Association Proposals
1.   We ask the City to install a QUALITY CAMERA SYSTEM to keep an invisible eye on the main intersections. It is less expensive to watch camera monitors than it is to have two man patrols 24 hours a day all week long and it is very easy to review during slow times. We appreciate and need the current police efforts, and we ask the city to permanently fund the patrols to keep the situation under control and serve as a welcome outreach into the business community.
2.   We want to help establish a long term NEIGHBORHOOD AWARENESS PROGRAM. This program, with the help of the Association, would put together meetings with groups of residents to get them to know the local police officers and city officials, to hear the residents concerns, and to establish a good rapport. This will build trust and open up a line of dialog that doesn’t exist right now. Neighborhood watch signs would also act as a deterrent in the area.
3.   BRISTOL’S TAX FREEZE PROGRAM is a great way to encourage property owners to improve their properties, but it needs improvement. It needs an adjustment of the qualifying criteria so that a building does not have to be totally awful to qualify, and some major advertising. No one knows about it! A tax freeze is a great way to encourage improvements that are a win win situation for the city. Just imagine how many properties could be substantially improved with no loss of money to the city and a promise of future tax dollars? We also request an increase in the allocation to the business facade improvement program.
4.   We want the city to reestablish a regular APARTMENT INSPECTION PROGRAM. This program will establish guidelines for the safety, security and sanitation of every apartment throughout Bristol. This program, with input from landlords, will insure a fair and reasonable inspection process that is tough yet realistic. If we can establish this minimum standard and apply it to all residential apartments, we will insure that our residents have a safe, sanitary and secure place to live. This program should also create a tough no tolerance policy for any landlord that refuses to bring their property up to this minimum standard.
5.   The West End Association would like to work collaboratively with the City of Bristol on a plan to revitalize business in the neighborhood. Part of the plan would be to identify strategic underperforming properties, which if removed, would allow for more opportunities for future development. Available customer parking is a major concern for businesses in the area. We have some beautiful and classic buildings and these additional parking options must work to preserve the character and context of the neighborhood.  Through the strategic placement of new parking, both shared and municipal, we can achieve both goals.

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