SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A group of Savannah neighbors has come together to stand up for their community.
Blight in Avondale is one of the things that revived their neighborhood association.
Alys Spillman, their vice president, says one of the first initiatives late last year was cleaning up their community. Spillman says one of the first initiatives late last year was cleaning up their community.
They hoped for the city’s help to purge some of the blight.
“We’ve started, you know, making a lot more 311 calls and because of that, we’ve sort of uncovered that there are communication problems within the system, that the user-end experience of it is a little bit difficult,” Spillman said. “So I feel like people might just give up. You know, if they’re calling about a fence that’s falling down.”
There are fences that need mending in Avondale according to 3-year resident Amy Drew.
“Not long ago some guys were running from police after a shooting across Bonaventure, and they were able to get away from the police because the fences are down,” Drew recalled. “They were running through back yards and they made it away.”
311 is Savannah’s system to report an array of issues, including property maintenance issues, online or by phone.
Spillman and Drew say 311 is frustrating them because of inconsistent response to complaints, including a lane that’s being used as an illegal dumping ground for furniture, mattresses, and even garbage.
“They came back and said actually, we can’t do maintenance on that lane because … the sanitation trucks don’t go up and down it, so we don’t service it,” Drew said of the city’s response, adding, “We’ve hit the point of frustration.”
Drew said from her understanding, residents are supposed to get status updates from the city.
“But what we’ve had happen is the numbers just disappear,” she said. “The problem isn’t taken care of, and we’ve never once, I’ve never once received a phone call or an email saying this is what’s going on with the problem you brought to our attention.”
There was no response to WSAV’s request for comment about the reports from some Avondale residents, but 3rd District Alderman John Hall, who represents the community, says concerns in that community are not being ignored.
“Things take time,” Hall said by phone, adding that he and city representatives will be on hand for the next neighborhood association meeting.
Spillman hopes to get some answers about Avondale’s issues with 311 reporting.
“I would love to see the 311 system get a closer look and have a little bit more consistency there,” she said. “I think I understand how it’s supposed to function, but I really don’t.
“It doesn’t seem to be working that way, so I would love for it to work how it’s supposed to.”
The next Avondale Neighborhood Association meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 11, 6:30 p.m. It will be held under the gazeebo inside Avondale Park at the intersection of Texas & Ohio avenues in Savannah.
Dealing with blight in your neighborhood? How has 311 helped you? Voice your thoughts on our Facebook page here.