Weed and Seed Partners In Parade

Steering Committee President Mark Killgo.

Photo by Jay Thompson

(posted Apr 10)

As a result of an April 8 vote by the Weed and Seed board members, Eagledale Lafayette Square Area Weed and Seed will partner with Gateway West Neighborhood Association for an August 16 parade. The purpose of the parade is to raise money to help Gateway West Neighborhood Association pay for the electricity for neighborhood street lights.

Weed and Seed President Mark Killgo said the parade will assist with Weed and Seed's need to outreach to the community and inform residents that they reside in a Weed and Seed area. The mission of Weed and Seed is to reduce crime by increased law enforcement funded by grants, housing and youth programs. Susan Luebbert and Linda Karn volunteered to help organize the parade with Tasha Coe of the GWNA. Luebbert suggested involving the kids in the Weed and Seed funded futsal program in the parade. Luebbert of Speedway volunteered to help because crime has no boundaries.

IMPD Major Paul Cielieski said a recent arrest for burglary of an Eagledale resident has also been linked to burglaries in Speedway.

Part of the Weed and Seed program is to address the abandoned and vacant housing problem because the homes often become a crime magnet for drug transactions, vandalism and siding and copper theft.

ELSA Executive Director Scott Rosenberger discussed the Individual Development Accounts (IDA) program to help low income people in the area become homeowners, thus reducing the number vacant homes. IDA is part of the Department of Justice Weed and Seed to help low income save money through matched savings accounts. About 20 Weed and Seed IDAs were active in 2005. He also discussed the Free Income Tax Assistance program designed to help low income people to capture their earned income tax credit. He said the IRS trains people in neighborhoods to assist other residents with preparing their income taxes. Many low income people don't know to file and forgo money that is owed to them. He said the untapped money could be spent with the local businesses.

Rosenberger indicated he plans to meet with Westside Community Development Corporation Executive Director Mark Stokes about assessing Eagledale's abandoned and vacant homes issue. The April 23rd meeting will include an abandoned and vacant home inventory tour of Eagledale. Rosenberger said ELSA Weed and Seed is not at the point of forming its own CDC, so ELSA would partner with WCDC.