Mayor Alvey Calls for New Focus on Neighborhoods
From the Unified Government:
Mayor David Alvey is calling for a better quality of life for KCK residents and increased economic growth by improving traditional neighborhoods in the city. Alvey made the remarks during his first State of the Government Address. Alvey became Mayor in January.
“We must attend more closely to our traditional neighborhoods, because our neighbors deserve a better quality of life and because only by improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods will we grow our tax base,” declared Alvey.
The new initiative is called, “From Our Neighborhoods Up.” The basic theory is to use incremental steps to clean-up neighborhoods, build on vacant lots and improve services to keep established residents and attract new ones. Building new homes on just 10% of the vacant residential lots in older KCK neighborhoods would result in 640 new homes and increase the tax base by an estimated $96-million. Growing the tax base will allow for individual taxes to be further reduced for all residents.
“We can unlock the potential of neighborhoods. We must build a great community from the neighborhoods up. We need to do what good neighbors have always done: do small things and do them well,” said Alvey.
The Mayor said some things can be as simple as engaging with neighbors, beautifying blocks by picking up trash, clearing overgrown brush and planting flowers. He also wants to improve lighting and make streets more walkable.
Alvey marked downtown KCK and Strawberry Hill as offering unique opportunities for improvement. The area is bordered by Freeman Avenue on the north, Central Avenue on the south, I-70 on the east and 7th Street on the west. Alvey says the area already has many thriving businesses and government offices with room for a lot more development.
The most recent enterprise coming to the area is the University of Kansas Health System which plans to move hundreds of patients and staff into the long empty EPA building. It will be called the University of Kansas Health System Strawberry Hill Campus.
Watch the State of the Government Address and read more about the “From Our Neighborhoods Up” initiative at www.wycokck.org.