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New program aims at restoring heritage neighborhoods in Springfield

Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 8:51 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Rebuilding and reinvesting in some of Springfield’s older neighborhoods is the idea behind a new program.

The Restore SGF initiative will target five areas of town.

“It was very, very nice and it’s taken a hit,” said Becky Volz.

She has spent most of her life in the Woodland Heights neighborhood in north Springfield.

“In 1962 it was beautiful. We walked the neighborhood every night. It was kind of a tradition after dinner,” she said.

Over the years she says the area has deteriorated but can be restored.

“I think, just the hard work and the input and the help, we can do it,” said Volz.

Retired banker Bill Owen said, “We need to revitalize these neighborhoods.”We did some projects. We just weren’t able to scale it to really make the impact we wanted."

He is part of the team that developed the Restore SGF Initiative.

“We’ve taken a year to put this together. We’ve met with realtors. We’ve met with banks. We’ve met with re-modelers. We’ve met with the home builders association. All these different groups. They’ve all come together and come onboard. We’re trying to break the silos where we’re all working together and not everybody just doing their own thing,” he explained.

The goal is to provide a central resource for residential incentives and loan programs that will revive pockets of Springfield, including the Grant Beach Park, West Central and Woodland Heights neighborhoods to name a few.

The hope is to not only refurbish older homes but reduce nuisance properties.

Owen said, “We’ve got to have proper housing stock that will encourage people to move into these areas. Once we do that then the revitalization of Kearney Street takes on it’s own life.”

“We as a neighborhood and neighbors who want to maintain our neighborhood as a beautiful place to live and safe place to live, we’ve tried for so long, one house at a time. But this program will bring the help that we really need,” said Volz.

For information on this program click here.

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