AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Making neighborhoods around Amarillo safer and more sustainable are now a top priority for the City of Amarillo.
For the past few years, developing downtown has been a dominant concern for the city, but city leaders now want to focus on other areas around town.
They are starting with the Heights in north Amarillo, but they don't want to develop a plan without input from the residents who live there.
One of those residents is Delores Thompson who has lived in the Heights almost her entire life. She joined a room full of other residents Thursday evening for the kick start planning meeting to transform their neighborhood into something they are proud of.
"I would like to see our community look better, just to look better and for people to have pride in our community again," said Thompson. "There are lots of empty lots, rundown homes and we need to clean that stuff up."
Brady Clark would like to see more access to the neighborhood. "We see a lack of access to healthy foods. We see a lack of access to job opportunities and employers and we see a lack of access to the basic things that provide stability in our community," said Clark.
Those are all concerns the city wants to hear. The City of Amarillo and Potter County have allocated $150,000 to make improvements based on what residents want.
"It's really key to get their input because it's their input that is going to help us get to where we want to be for this neighborhood," said City of Amarillo Planning Director Kelley Shaw. "It's their neighborhood. It's not the city's neighborhood, so we really need their input to make it all work."
Thursday was just the first of many meetings to come to make the wants and needs of the neighborhood a reality. The next will take place in mid March.
The neighborhood planning initiative will also eventually take place in the Barrio, San Jacinto, east Amarillo, Eastridge and north Amarillo areas as well.