Could the James St. community get an overhaul?Thursday, February 16, 2012 by: Brad Coccimiglio
Others added that they would not be opposed to more police presence patrolling the area.
Plenty of ideas were bounced around on Tuesday night at the Soup Kitchen in an effort to look into revitalizing the west end area, specifically in the area surrounding James St.
James Street Neighbourhood Project - A Preliminary Study for the Revitalization of Jamestown was held on Tuesday night with a number of speakers in attendance and featured a forum in which area residents could voice concerns and ideas on how to make the area better.
Among the speakers at the event were city councillor Rick Niro, Al Spadoni of Spadoni’s Furniture as well as Honourable Ray Stortini, who lived in the area growing up.
The James St. area is one that city police don't receive a lot of reports from, said Police Chief Robert Davies (shown with Dr. William Osei of Algoma University and Ward 4 Councillor Rick Niro).
Some people at the forum said that citizens in the area sometimes choose not to report incidents they witness or a part of.
The James Street Neighbourhood Project is being spearheaded by students and professors from various programs at Algoma University.
Involved from the University are marketing students, who will be conducting a preliminary study of the neighbourhood. The students are conducting it under the guidance of professors Jody Rebek, Brian Zinser, and Pelham Matthews of the Business and Economics Department, and Dr. William Osei of the Geography Department at Algoma University.
The plan is to eventually have students conduct a door-to-door survey with residents of the area and pull together the results.
Though nothing major from the project is expected to come in the foreseeable future, the professors plan to take on the project after the school-year concludes at Algoma and push the project further.
The presentation and subsequent discussion included a full house of onlookers at the Soup Kitchen.
Those in attendance included area residents, students from Algoma as well as a number of interested onlookers, some of which had grown up in the area prior to moving to other parts of the city. Also in attendance were the likes of current city councillor Frank Fata as well as former local NDP candidate Tony Martin.