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Wellington Heights Gets City Approval for Neighborhood Plan
CEDAR RAPIDS (CBS 2/ FOX 28)--Marie Ugorek feels a sense of community at Redmond Park. It's one of the main reasons why she moved to Wellington Heights 10 years ago.
"I like the openness and the fact that people do come out and meet their neighbors," said Ugorek.
Restoring community pride is part of the Wellington Heights’ neighborhood plan.
"We're going to do all we can to show people that this a great place to live," said Justin Wasson, president of the Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association.
Residents have been working hard to shake off the area's reputation for crime, building a community garden and hosting family-friendly events.
Now that the city council has approved a master plan to spruce it up, restoring the neighborhood’s image may be even easier to do.
The most pressing issues are fixing damaged streets and sidewalks.
"You can see the curbing kind of falling apart,” Wasson said. “Last year, there was curb falling into the street."
"Most of the corners don't have ramps, so if you have a stroller or if you have a wheel chair, it's hard to get around," Ugorek said.
Residents say getting around gets even harder at night.
"I've know a lot of people who are scared to walk alone at night," Ugorek said.
The master plan calls for more street lighting and slowing down traffic.
Improvements city officials hope will attract more people like Marie not just to move to Wellington Heights, but to stay.
"People can buy a home; they can invest in the home,” said city councilman Pat Shey. “They'll live here and make it their home for a long term.”
"I'd much rather put my energy into investing in the neighborhood, then give up on it and move out," Ugorek said.
The city says it may take 10 to 15 years to complete the master plan.