Community members are being invited to ask questions and to comment on proposed crime-reduction strategies in the Rocky Fork Lake area at a town hall meeting from 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, at the AmVets Post 61 on Lake Shore Drive.
Coming up with a list of strategies “is the result of one year of intensive planning efforts designed to identify issues and ultimately address crime in ‘hot spot’ neighborhoods,” according to a press release.
The lake project came about after the Highland County Board of Commissioners was awarded a $100,000 grant last year from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Byrnes Criminal Justice Innovation Program “to develop an evidence-based, data driven, community-oriented plan to reduce crime and improve public safety in targeted neighborhoods” in the Rocky Fork Lake area, according to material supplied by the organizers.
The grant for the lake study was one of only 11 such grants awarded across the nation and is designed to facilitate the development of a strategic plan to reduce crime at the lake. When solutions are identified, the county will apply for an implementation grant to fund the fixes.
Also involved in the 18-month project is a company called Planning for Success, which consults with non-profit organization leaders “to chart or improve their paths to achieving their mission efficiently and effectively,” according to a company statement.
Angela Carl from that company led the group discussion last December while about 60 attendees at individual tables held small group talks. By the end of the meeting, white boards and windows at the banquet facility were covered with small notes containing hundreds of ideas from the participants, which will be studied and incorporated into the final plan. The meeting was held at the Rocky Fork Lake Overlook Retreat Banquet Center.
Members of the planning team, including Paint Township Trustee Randy Mustard, Sheriff Donnie Barrera and Project Manager LuAnn Winkle of Turning Point, will be on hand at the Nov. 5 town hall to share information and answer questions. Carl will again facilitate the meeting, where priority issues and proposed solutions will be the topic, according to organizers.
“We are committed to ensuring that residents of the target neighborhoods are heard,” Winkle said in a press release. “Community engagement is the most important piece of the plan development. Please come out and make your voice heard as this project is about making your community and your neighborhood safe, prosperous and beautiful.”