On Tuesday, July 18 residents of the Riverview Estates neighborhood off Southside Road met to discuss the upcoming changes in their neighborhood. With a housing development encroaching north of them on Southside, the Hospital Road Bridge replacement project in its advanced stages and talk of a public park along the river, there were a number of concerns.
“If you look at all the other housing developments in the county, you can see that they have walls,” said Martin Hernandez, a homeowner in the neighborhood. “Lok at our walls.” Everyone looked toward the perimeter of the neighborhood at a termite-ridden, dilapidated fence.
Finding a way to fund a wall around the neighborhood seems to be the biggest concern, but it isn’t as easy as it seems — understanding the ins and outs of County Service Area money isn’t as fluid as members of the community might like it to be. Even if the neighborhood was able to access the estimated $50,000 that Riverview Estates CSA No. 53 has in its account, members worry it wouldn’t be enough to fund a wall anyhow.
Attendees at the meeting expressed concerns about safety, stating that outsiders break the boards in the the fence and steal things out of yards. There was a report of a boat motor being stolen out of somebody’s back yard through the dilapidated outer fence.
The neighborhood is also working on forming a Neighborhood Watch, because although some members would like to have a gate, they understand the short-term cost and long-term maintenance that such a thing would require. With broken street lights, no outer wall, and little response from the law enforcement about the constant flow of people and suspicious activity in and out of the river at the mouth of the neighborhood, a Neighborhood Watch might be exactly what they need. Residents said they hope it would help create a positive relationship with the Sheriff’s Office and provide some form of protection.
The Riverview Estates neighborhood has struggled to gain access to information for a while now, as residents note that the lack of access to information likely has to do with language barriers and the socioeconomic demographic of the neighborhood — a housing project comprised of low- and middle-income subsidized homes. Meeting attendees said they are joining together and working hard to find ways to solve their problems and access the funds to which they are entitled.
The next meeting for Riverview Estates is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. in front of 3056 Riverview Way.