More than once, the late East End community activist Ora Lee Caroll said of the overgrown lots in Homewood and Larimer that you could dump a body there and no one would ever know.
And because many of the properties she complained about were abandoned, maintenance was never performed. Occasionally, a neighbor would just go ahead and take a lawn mower to some, others required heavier equipment. But some of those properties are owned by the city or its Urban Redevelopment Authority—and it’s not just an East End problem. It’s all over the city—and now the city is doing something about it.
In July the URA board awarded contracts totaling $250,000 to seven community based entities to maintain some of the 1,500 such lots it owns.
Authority Board Chair Kevin Acklin said the program is a win-win, filling the need for regular maintenance while helping neighborhood residents with employment and supporting community businesses at the same time.
Spokesperson Lisa Moses said it is important to note that every entity, for-profit or nonprofit, that submitted an application received a contract award. They are: