Neighborhood watch group set to move forward on name change

A Columbus neighborhood watch group plans to move forward with a proposed name change to reflect its broader scope but is weighing additional information and steps before expanding its boundaries.

The group, based near 11th and Washington streets, is considering changing its name to the Historic Downtown Neighborhood Alliance. The group met Tuesday night to discuss that and other topics.

“Since we had no negative feedback on changing the name, I think it’s important for the sake of communication with the group and with the media to make the change official,” said Sheryl Nulph, the group’s facilitator.

The group’s long-range planning committee meets April 27, and it could vote then to officially change the name.

The group’s current watch boundaries are a square area consisting of Eighth to 12th streets and Washington to Pearl streets. However, it is considering expanding the boundaries to Second to 15th streets and Washington to Chestnut streets, to include all of the city’s historic downtown district. That idea was discussed Tuesday, but no action was taken, Nulph said.

Among the feedback the group received at the meeting was a suggestion to first adopt a mission statement and bylaws before moving forward with a possible expansion of boundaries, Nulph said. Also, Chris Rutan, a member of the Ninth Street Park neighborhood watch group, expressed that he would like to see the historic downtown group’s east border remain as is, with both groups working together to meet the needs of the areas involved, Nulph said.

The long-range planning committee will discuss extending the outreach area, a mission statement and by-laws at its next meeting, Nulph said.

Attendees of the meeting filled out comment cards. Code enforcement of abandoned and neglected properties was the top concern about illegal activities, and trash and toter violations topped the quality-of-life concerns, Nulph said.

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Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at johannesen@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5639.