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Program aims to increase involvement in community revitalization

Staff Report //January 28, 2020//

Program aims to increase involvement in community revitalization

Staff Report //January 28, 2020//

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Richland County is launching a new initiative aimed at increasing community involvement in neighborhood revitalization programs.

In February, the county Neighborhood Improvement Program will introduce SPEED, which stands for sustainability, planning, education, engagement and development, according to a news release from the county. The yearlong program includes events intended to train and engage community activists in neighborhood projects.

An introductory event will be held Feb. 20 that will include presentations from the county Business Service Center and Assessor’s Office.

In a March session, the Neighborhood Improvement Program team and the Community Planning and Development office will provide information about neighborhood improvement programs and Neighborhood Matching Grants during an orientation for potential first-time homebuyers though the county’s Homeownership Assistance Program.

“Each series is going to be catered to different aspects of the department and the various divisions within it,” Brian Crooks, Richland County comprehensive planner, said in the news release. “We’re trying to provide takeaways that neighborhoods and citizens in general can utilize for themselves and for their communities.”

In 2020, Richland County plans to create a new land development code and a new countywide sustainability master plan. Officials also expect to evaluate and revise the county’s comprehensive plan.

Tommy DeLage, county interim planning services manager, said the department plans to host a SPEED event every month.

“The goal was to have as much opportunity for that engagement and education as possible,” DeLage said.