(Crystal A. Proxmire, Jan. 10, 2013)
What do residents want in a neighborhood group? That’s what members of the Dales Neighborhood discussed at their Jan. 9 meeting held at the Digital Learning Center (formerly Taft).
The group formed in the fall after informational meetings between Ferndale Schools Administrators, Ferndale Police and residents to discuss the DLC and questions about the school and concerns over neighborhood crime. The meetings facilitated dialogue and helped bring residents together to start what they hope will be a long-term, multifunctional neighborhood group.
At the Jan. 9 meeting, the Dales Group divided into three committees – Neighborhood Crime, Social Events and Physical Improvements. Each will organize ideas and actions that the whole group can be part of.
For example, the Social Events committee talked about having a wine party and a neighborhood yard sale, which one person suggested be called a “Dale Sale.”
Officer Farris, who is the dedicated resource officer for the Ferndale Police working at the Schools, sat in discussion with those concerned about neighborhood safety. And the Physical Improvement committee looked at the need for less litter around the school, as well as possibilities for making the playgrounds more welcoming for children of all ages.
Melanie Piana, who is a City Councilperson and a resident of the Dales, presented information about the neighborhood. With the borders being Livernois, Marshall, Woodward and 8 Mile, there are 2281 residents according to the 2010 US Census. Overall that’s a 9.36% reduction in residents since 2000.
Piana explained that the lower population could be the result of more single people buying homes and people who are young home-buyers waiting until later in life to have children. In general, the population of Michigan cities has been declining.
Although there are 236 fewer residents, the neighborhood grew slightly in terms of places to live, mainly with the construction of apartments on Marshall and some single homes being converted into duplexes. In 2000 there were 1257 housing units. In 2010 there were 1320.
Demographics have changed as well. In 2000 there were 2293 white residents, and in 2010 there were 413 fewer, for a total of 1880. Over the same period, black residents increased from 95 to 267, a gain of 172.
The age of residents has also changed. There are 65 fewer children, with the numbers falling from 442 to 377. There are 765 people aged 18-34, 708 people aged 35-54, 347 people aged 55-74, and only 88 people over 75.
Piana said there is more information to look at in future meetings, including rental and foreclosure percentages.
Everett Keyser, who has also stepped up to help facilitate the group, said “I’m excited to see a group like this get started. I’ve been a resident 9 years and I want to see it get even better.” He started the meeting off with a toast of sparkling juice to celebrate the way neighbors have been coming together, and to wish for a successful 2013. About 20 people attended the meeting.
Keyser also said that the Ferndale Historical Museum has a lot of interesting information and pictures of the Dales. He shared the fact that Allen St. used to be called Avondale, and that St. Louis street was named Auburndale.
The Dales Neighborhood Group posts information about meetings and other communication on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TheDalesNeighborhood. Interested residents can also contact Keyser at Everett.firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more stories on the Dales meetings, check out our previous stories: http://ferndale115.com/nuevo/2012/11/14/neighborhood-meeting-to-discuss-taftdlc/