First of Fayette's "block parties" successful 9.24

Written by David Green.

People didn’t just come for the cake and brownies. Some good discussion preceded the refreshments at Ruth Marlatt’s “block party.”

The Fayette village council member presented an idea in August for residents of a neighborhood to get together to talk about problems and challenges—an effort to work together to improve the community.

Marlatt went door to door delivering invitations at houses in her area of the village, then waited to see how many would show at the first meeting Sept. 15.

She was pleased with the turnout—more than 20 people arrived to discuss a variety of village issues—but still disappointed that more weren’t able to attend.

“Several people called and said they couldn’t make it because of conflicts,” she said.

Nearly 30 homes were included in her area, one of 12 sections of the town divided up by village administrator Amy Metz. The plan calls for each council member to serve as a host at two neighborhood meetings.

One topic of discussion followed up on a subject heard at recent council meetings: sidewalks. For example, if new sidewalks were installed on only one side of South Fayette Street for foot traffic heading to school, who would pay for construction?

Someone mentioned the lack of a flashing light at the corner of South Fayette and Gamble Road to alert drivers about school traffic. Another wondered if crossing guards are needed to assist young walkers.

Other concerns included the upkeep of vacant houses, schedules for leaf and brush pickup, trees in need of cutting, weed control in yards, truck traffic from the upgrade project at Clay Meadows apartments, and the need to bring jobs into town.

Kym Baker volunteered to organize a trash pickup effort in the neighborhood—a group effort that could be easily done at no cost. She will also meet with some residents for additional discussion about sidewalks and other concerns mentioned.

“The overall sentiment seemed to be that it was a worthwhile meeting that identified some of the problems that need to be dealt with in our area,” Marlatt said.

She also said that it was good to meet some of the area people that she didn’t know.

“It was people working together,” Marlatt said, “and that’s what I wanted.”

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