Above: A mail carrier walks in the street to avoid damaged sidewalks on Chautaqua Street in Perry Point. (Photo by Kelsey Shea)
When Daren Ellerbee, president of Perry Point Homeowners Association, called her local councilman to set up a neighborhood walk through, her message was pretty simple.
“We just want to let people know, ‘Hey, we’re back here and we’ve got a lot of kids and concerns,’” Ellerbee told Harry Johnson from City Councilman Daniel Lavelle’s office.
Perry Point is a small community in Perry Hilltop at the intersections of Chautauqua Street and Chester Avenue that is made up of about 50 homes.
Ellerbee called Lavelle’s office this month to set up a time for her and a representative to walk through her neighborhood and discuss problems they’re having and how they can work together to fix them.
She pointed out six homes and properties on Chautaugua Street and 16 on Chester Avenue that are owned by the City that are vacant and unkempt. She explained that feral animals occupy the homes and present a safety hazard for the children who play nearby.
She also showed Johnson and Carol Dzamko, a board member of Perry Hilltop Citizens Council, sidewalks so damaged and overgrown that pedestrians had to walk in the street.
Ellerbee also explained the need for a trash can that would be maintained by the City to help with their litter problem, which their neighborhood clean ups struggle to keep under control.
“I can’t stress enough the beauty of Chautaugua,” said Ellerbee of the tree lined street. “It’s sad to see what it’s become.”
Johnson has submitted the list of vacant properties to the City’s director of public works, who will send crews to clean and maintain the vacant properties and is working with Lavelle to schedule a ReddUp day in the community and place a trash can on the street. Ellerbee is also scheduled to meet with Lavelle in person.
“Our office was glad to be a part of this and address the concerns she had about the community,” said Johnston.
Ellerbee said their goal was to have a safe place for children to play, possibly even a playground, by the end of 2013.