North Huntsville leaders talk revitalization

North Huntsville leaders talk revitalization

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - On Wednesday, Huntsville District 1 City Councilman Deyvn Keith said north Huntsville needs change, and it's coming.

On Tuesday, south Huntsville announced a new partnership with Main Street Alabama to revitalize its area, and at the press conference, Mayor Tommy Battle said he wants to see similar efforts in north Huntsville.

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WAFF 48 News met with Keith and the Democratic candidates for Senate District 7 (encompassing northwestern Huntsville) to hear what they'd like to see in their areas.

Sam Givhan, the Republican candidate for District 7, was not available.

Keith said the city is already planning to put money toward his district, and citizens will see improvements the roads within the year.

"Places like Oakwood, that will be paved, that have been neglected. That will change really the infrastructure look, also curb appeal of certain areas," he said.

He said more roads will be connected to help the Johnson High School development. The closed school will be torn down and replaced with homes, commercial space and public parks.

"You really want to start to work on these parks and having this green space that individuals, one, of my age, might feel they want to move into," he said.

He said a more aesthetic community will help bring people to the area, and attract more business.

Senate candidate Deidra Willis said she is pushing for affordable housing at the Johnson development, and will work in Montgomery to get state funds for more revitalization.

"Look at our streets, right now we to beautify them streets. We have potholes galore," she said.

She said she wants to see more after school programs in the area, to keep kids off the streets and reduce crime.

Willis' opponent in the July 17 runoff, Deborah Barros, said she wants to see new buildings on northwest Memorial Parkway.

"Tear down some the areas on north Parkway that are eyesores, help relocate a few businesses that are on northwest parkway, and let's start building," she said.

She said businesses would need to be attracted to the area, and an increased police presence would help.

All three leaders said it would take a community effort to revitalize the area.

Locals can make their voices heard Thursday, June 14 at the City Council meeting or a town hall on June 19 from 6-8 p.m. at the Bo Matthews Center to talk about the Johnson development.

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