Drovertown residents to be asked how cash can help their area

All of the colored blocks on this map will be included in the Communities for a Lifetime project, which will begin with a door-to-door survey in March and April to determine how best to spend $662,000 to improve the neighborhood’s livability.
All of the colored blocks on this map will be included in the Communities for a Lifetime project, which will begin with a door-to-door survey in March and April to determine how best to spend $662,000 to improve the neighborhood’s livability. Graphic provided.

Residents of the historic Drovertown neighborhood on Huntington's south side will be asked how an infusion of $662,000 can best be used to make their neighborhood a more livable community.

A door-to-door survey will be conducted in March and April, and residents of the neighborhood itself are welcome to help conduct the survey.

The $662,000 funding commitment has been awarded to the city of Huntington by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) as part of its Communities for a Lifetime program, which is designed to make communities friendly for residents of all ages.

The project will be coordinated by Pathfinder Community Connections.

During the door-to-door survey, two-member teams of volunteers will walk the neighborhood to both evaluate the physical condition of the area and collect feedback from Drovertown residents. Volunteers will have identification badges and residents are encouraged to request identification from the surveyors.

Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters will be one of the volunteer surveyors.

"The Drovertown neighborhood assessment is a very important step in making the best use of the Communities for a Lifetime grant and I am excited that it will begin soon," Fetters says.

"I encourage residents of the neighborhood to take the time to talk with the volunteers and complete the short survey. Citizen input is vital and will be used to help build the best plan for making the neighborhood a better place.

"I would also encourage residents to consider volunteering to help with the door-to-door survey pro- cess."

Chris Kauffman, outcome measurement director at Pathfinder Services and leader of the project, says that community participation is vital to the success of the project.

"Residents know better than anyone what would make their neighborhoods a livable place," Kauffman says.

Volunteer surveyors will work two to four hours a week for two to four weeks. Training will be provided.

Potential volunteers should contact Chris Kauffman at ckauffma@pathfinderservcies.org or Kristen Spiegel at kspiegel@pathfinderservices.org.

Some of the improvements currently planned for the neighborhood are:

• Rehabilitation of older owner-occupied homes to improve accessibility for people with mobility issues.

• Increased energy efficiency in the homes.

• Sidewalk improvements to enhance accessibility, safety and walkability.

• Organization of neighborhood block clubs to facilitate neighborhood improvements while building a sense of community.

Complete caption: All of the colored blocks on this map will be included in the Communities for a Lifetime project, which will begin with a door-to-door survey in March and April to determine how best to spend $662,000 to improve the neighborhood’s livability. The red outline represents the official boundaries of historic Drovertown as recorded in the National Register of Historic Places, but the project will also include the areas just outside that boundary line.