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South Side residents say city needs to do more to help neighborhoods

Published: Fri, March 28, 2014 @ 12:05 a.m.

By David Skolnick



South Side residents say they’re upset and frustrated about the condition of their neighborhoods and don’t believe the city is doing enough to help resolve the problems.

About 70 people attended Thursday’s meeting at the Oak Hill Collaborative, 507 Oak Hill Ave., to hear an overview of research done by the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp., the city’s planning agency.

It was the ninth public meeting the agency and city officials have had throughout Youngstown to obtain input on YNDC’s “Neighborhood Conditions Report.” The South Side neighborhoods discussed Thursday included Oak Hill, Uptown and Fosterville.

The area has seen the most population loss in Youngstown in the past two decades, has the city’s lowest median income, is above average for major crimes, and half of all of the properties are tax-delinquent, compared with one-third for the rest of the city, said Tom Hetrick, a YNDC neighborhood planner.

“It’s an extremely weak housing market” area, he said.

Two meetings are left, then YNDC will use the information it’s compiling for a report that will guide the city with its limited financial resources toward efforts to improve Youngstown, Hetrick said.

But several people at Thursday’s meeting said the city isn’t doing enough to save their South Side neighborhoods.

“I want more cops to be available,” said Lula Stubbins, a South Side resident. “People throw their trash into empty lots. They dump cement blocks and roofing materials there, too. People rent houses and don’t keep them up. I’ve called everyone at city hall for years, and nothing has happened. If we had a cop patrol every now and then, that would help.”

Others mentioned prostitution, illegal drug use, broken sidewalks, vacant houses and vandalism as problems.

Candy Tarpley said previous city plans didn’t address problems in some areas of the city, including large portions of the South Side.

“We’re not stupid,” she said. “We want a plan that’s all-inclusive. We’re disenfranchised here.”

In response, Hetrick said, “We don’t want this plan to sit on a shelf.”

Marvin Bankhead, a South Side resident, said residents need to “remain vigilant” when it comes to keeping an eye on illegal activities and calling the police.

“Everybody has to be accountable,” he said. “We all know the problems. I had hoped I’d hear more of the solutions.”

Elnora Sipp, president of the Four Square Block Watch on the South Side, said vacant lots are used to illegally dump tires.

“We’re all older people,” she said. “We get out and try to do what we can do, but we need help. Nobody’s doing anything about dumping.”

Most of the other meetings have lasted about an hour to 90 minutes. Thursday’s meeting was ended after close to two hours with people there still wanting to discuss the problems in their neighborhoods.


1Attis(1134 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

50 years ago, the Southside was a vibrant community; now it is a vast wasteland. Why not just relocate all remaining residents (say, to Boardman); tear down the dilapidated houses before nature does; and turn it into farmland?

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2handymandave(578 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

It would be great if some of these residents took the initiative to do some repairs on these houses themselves. They wait til some government program sends the money and help and take no pride in what they own themselves. The people that pay the least amount in taxes (if any) are always the ones exploiting the services to the mth degree too.The police and fire departments can't be everywhere. Start looking out for yourselves and only call when absolutely necessary quit abusing the system it wasn't placed there just for you.

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3redeye1(5675 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Why don't the people of the Southside get more involved in their neighor hoods. Report crimes instead of hiding in their houses. Get out and help clean up the trash on their streets etc. Make it a place where people do want to live.
@ Attis Boardman is already starting to look run down because the SS hoodrats are moving their. The welfare mob has ruined the city now they are starting to ruin Boardman

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4DwightK(1537 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Cops can help reduce crime but they can't make people have pride for the place where they live. Slumlord property owners need to keep up on their property. Code enforcement can help.

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5captainpeewee(76 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Did you think about rounding up all the Youngstown sperm farmers and put them to work cleaning up there hood ,there are not paying there child support not working pay back to the tax payers that are paying for there kids,

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6southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

It takes MONEY to repair neighborhoods...the tax base of Y-Town has eroded and nothing can be done at this point except to demolish abandoned structures.

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