Tree removal funds, Flint Fresh, crime and safety among CCNA highlights

By Kim Owens

On the eve of autumn’s return, the College Cultural Neighborhood Association’s monthly meetings resumed appropriately with a discussion of trees. After introducing the 2017-2018 officers, President Mike Keeler thanked the group for helping the neighborhood protect its trees.

Several motions have been made to the Flint City Council regarding funds for trimming services, he said. The original motion was to give funds to the Genesee Conservation District to let them continue what they had been doing. That motion failed 7-2. Ninth Ward Councilman Scott Kincaid then made an alternative motion, which passed, to earmark $150,000 out of the city of Flint’s tree maintenance budget of $340,000 for emergency tree removal. This includes a system where permission from the homeowner is required before the tree can be removed.

Trees of the College Cultural neighborhood. (Photo by Jan Worth-Nelson).

Mike Keeler stated, “No longer will you come home from work and find out your trees that were in front of your house for the last 80 years are now gone because you now have to sign for it. There has to be a dialogue.” Keeler thanked Kincaid as well as residents for showing up at meeting and voicing their concerns. Roughly 15 neighbors have consistently shown up at meeting and Keeler noted that this has helped.

Encouraging real estate report

 Realtor Mark Fisher gave a real estate report noting that 20 homes are currently for sale in the neighborhood. This is the lowest in at least 4 years. There are currently no foreclosures or short sales, which is good for the neighborhood as far as safety and property values go. The average price per square foot for homes is $46, up from $14 4 years ago. 16 houses have sold in the last 2 months with 11 sales pending. Water tests are also looking good in the neighborhood.

Food Hub opening on Court

Holly Lubowicki, Farm-to-Fork Coordinator for the Community Foundation of Greater Flint,  reported about a new Food Hub going in on Court and Averill. Flint Fresh is the group behind the Hub; they currently run the Veggie Box program as well as the Flint Mobile Market.

The Food Hub will serve as an aggregation point. According to Lubowicki, “It’s a place for local growers to bring all of their products, and from that one place, institutions can buy from them. Hospitals, daycares, universities, colleges, senior centers, things like that.” She further noted that it is not a place for individuals to go buy food, but it will help local growers have a centralized location where they can go to sell their food. At some point, there will be food processing going on as well.

The floor was then turned over to three mayoral candidates, Scott Kincaid, Chris Del Morone, and Anderson Fernanders, for five minutes each to discuss their qualifications.

Message from the mayor’s office

City Administrator Sylvester Jones was present on behalf of the mayor. He noted that the current administration is currently implementing the Master Plan and “using it as a guide to future development and everything else that happens in the City of Flint.” Jones noted that Mayor Weaver has three priorities: clean water, public safety, and economic development. The mayor understands that we need dialogues to happen in order to bring the city together and resolve these issues, he said.

State trooper reports local coverage

Safety concerns rounded out the meeting. Michigan State Trooper Steve Kramer was on hand to assure residents that Michigan state troopers are actively working in Flint to assist the Flint Police Department, not take over. While they do not typically respond to dispatch calls, there are 18 officers currently embedded in the FPD working on road patrols, drug teams, and fugitive teams; the major crime unit and proactive patrols are their primary duties. As of September 17, 5,403 traffic stops in the city of Flint were made. Officer Kramer noted that of those stops, 310 felons, 343 misdemeanants, and 426 fugitives were arrested.

Golden Spot, D.M. Burr efforts continuing

Mike Herriman reported to the group that the owners of the Golden Spot party store are trying to keep people off their property but they need the neighborhood’s help. Currently, they are trying to remove the rocks located in front of the store that many use for seating. Herriman also let the group know that David Lee Alexander Steelman, who has a lengthy rap sheet with 19 misdemeanors that include home invasion and petty larceny, is staying in the neighborhood while awaiting charges for his latest criminal activity. Neighbors were warned that he can be very charming and to check FaceBook for photos of him. Herriman also clarified that D.M.Burr is a potential additional form of patrol and the cost is $500 a year if paid up front OR $50 a month for a yearly total of $600. The CCNA needs six more households to sign up in order to get Burr to patrol the area. Their route will depend on who has signed up, Herriman said.

Other items of note included:

  • The large hole by the Sunoco gas station will be there until Consumers Energy is done, which should be soon.
  • Friday, Nov. 24 is the last day of leaf pick up.
  • Cassandra Hubbard, a community health worker, is currently working out of Pierce School. For those without health insurance in need of health insurance or other resources (housing, clothing, transportation, etc.) can call her at 810-339-6394.

EVM staff writer Kim Owens can be reached at



Author: East Village Magazine

A Non-profit, Community News Magazine Since 1976

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