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Second Ward Neighborhood Partnership

As autumn gets under way, facade improvement projects are wrapping up in the Second Ward, while other revitalization efforts continue in the neighborhood.

Sara Andrews, executive director of the Bradford Office of Economic and Community Development, said a lot has been accomplished with the Second Ward Neighborhood Partnership Project, but there is still more to come.

“We have completed four owner-occupied rehabilitation projects with six others still in process,” Andrews said. “The streetscape project on Elm Street has been completed. We are waiting on banner arms to install the new banners.”

She said new cameras have been installed at five intersections: Chestnut and East Corydon street, Chestnut and Elm streets, Elm and Congress streets, Congress Street and Tibbits Avenue and Congress and East Corydon streets.

“We have acquired a dilapidated commercial building as a part of our catalytic impact project on Congress Street, Elm Street and Chestnut Street, and we will be seeking grant funding to renovate it for future commercial and residential use,” Andrews noted.

She said the first new house is under construction — located on Elm Street near its intersection with Congress Street — and will continue throughout the winter with a planned spring completion.

“The construction of the two new townhomes will begin soon, and construction will continue throughout the winter with completion planned for next summer,” Andrews added.

She said they’ve also been concentrating property maintenance efforts on the exterior conditions of the housing stock in the neighborhood.

“Later this month, we be applying for additional state Keystone Communities grant funding to assist with several of these improvement projects,” Andrews said.

Looking to next year, Andrews said they plan to complete and sell the three new homes.

Additionally, she mentioned plans to undertake two streetscape improvement projects — Tibbits Avenue and Elm Street (between Davis and Chestnut streets) with continued renovation of owner-occupied homes and facade improvements as well as additional acquisition and demolition of blighted housing units.

“We may construct one addition home on Elm Street, pending funding and resolution of a property matter,” Andrews said. “We will continue to enforce property maintenance codes to improve the exterior conditions of the homes.”

Overall, Andrews said she is proud of how far the project has come, but looks forward to accomplishing more.

“We are pleased with the progress made over the first three years in the neighborhood, but we recognize that there still is a long way to go in terms of improving the condition of the housing stock and infrastructure,” Andrews said. “We will continue to search and apply for funding to be used with our private partner funding as it takes significant resources to reverse the declining conditions that exist in this neighborhood.”

Meanwhile, neighborhood residents are encouraged to stay involved with revitalization efforts for the designated Second Ward Neighborhood Partnership Project area by attending the next meeting at 7 p.m. Oct 14 at the First Presbyterian Church at 54 East Corydon St.

The meeting will feature upcoming event information as well as committee-specific items for neighborhood stakeholders. Topics that will be discussed during the meeting will include façade projects, infrastructure improvements, clean-ups, committees, block parties and neighborhood engagement, according to Elm Street Manager Lisa Keck.

“We are moving forward with efforts to create a healthier, more vibrant neighborhood,” Keck said, inviting residents to attend the session and participate in shaping the future of the Second Ward area. “By establishing and maintaining open lines of communication, individuals work together as a team to create safer, friendlier and better prepared neighborhoods in which everyone wants to be a part.”

By Amanda Nichols, Era Reporter