Mayor Stothert Town Hall Meetings

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert has a series of town hall meetings beginning Monday.

This is the second year of the Mayor’s town hall meetings. They’re an opportunity to discuss city issues with the public in venues throughout the city.  A city councilperson will be at each event along with various members of Mayor’s staff and department directors.

The first town hall is Monday at the Benson Library. The rest of the schedule is as follows:

  • September 22nd, Charles Washington Library
    Ben Gray will attend
  • October 8, Willa Cather Library
    Chris Jerram will attend
  • October 20, Millard North High School (tentative location)
    Rich Pahls will attend
  • October 22, Kroc Center
    Garry Gernandt will attend
  • October 27, Saddlebrook Library
    Aimee Melton will attend
  • October 30, Swanson Library
    Franklin Thompson will attend

All meetings begin at 7 pm.

South Omaha Neighborhood Mini Grants are Live and Ready for You to Apply

Hey Neighbors,

South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance wants to remind you that we have funds available for neighborhood based projects in South Omaha. We created this mini grants program for ease of access year round that your group can tap into to meet new neighbors, strengthen the brand of your neighborhood, and put your ideas into action.

If you have an idea for a Mini-Grant project, email info@sonaomaha.org or call us at (402) 884.6892. We’ll send along an application/info form and answer any questions you might have. Or you can download and print it in the link below.

SONA Neighborhood Mini Grants Pilot

Applications are reviewed quarterly by the SONA Mini-Grant Council, comprised of local citizens and activists of the South Omaha Community. Funds are limited and are on first come first serve basis, so apply soon!

Thanks for All You do for South Omaha!

Come Talk a Walking Tour of Historic Vinton Business District

Historic Vinton Street Business District

Saturday, October 4    2PM and 4PM  (part of the Vinton Creativity Festival)

Friday, October 10   5PM   ( part of the 2 Friday Vinton event)

any questions please contact:

Vince Furlong – Education Director
RESTORATION EXCHANGE OMAHA (REO)

402-709-2586
http://north24thomahatour.com
http://south24thomahatour.com
http://restorationexchange.org

Registration Now Open for IN the Neighborhood Conference

Save the date!  Friday, October 10 and Saturday, October 11 the Metro area is set to host its first ever Neighborhoods Conference.  The two-day Iowa/Nebraska (IN) the Neighborhood Conference will be held at Metro Community College’s South Omaha Campus.  Friday will feature neighborhood tours in both Omaha and Council Bluffs.  Saturday will start off with opening remarks from Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh.  The Luncheon Keynote Speaker is Gus Newport, a nationally renowned community activist who encourages neighborhood planning from the “bottom up, not top-down.”  Additional workshop speakers include neighborhood advocate and Creighton University Law Professor Kate Mahern, and Empowerment Network President Willie Barney.   Morning and afternoon breakout sessions will cover a range of topics from Neighborhood Identity & Connectivity in a Regional Context to Raising Poultry in the City.   

To register for the IN the Neighborhood Conference, visit www.intheneighborhood.org.  Early bird registration ends on September 21. 

Contact:
Liz Birkel-Leddy
402-444-5150 ext. 2034
Liz.Birkel-Leddy@cityofomaha.org

Proposed 2015 City Budget Includes Funding for Neighborhood Support

(Note: the following update was prepared by the United Neighborhood Alliances of Omaha.)

The City of Omaha’s proposed 2015 budget includes a $50,000 line item for neighborhood support.

Since the closing of the Neighborhood Center’s Omaha office in February 2013, representatives from the city’s six neighborhood alliances have been meeting to discuss how to best address the needs of Omaha’s neighborhoods.

This volunteer task force, known as the United Neighborhood Alliances of Omaha, includes representatives from the Benson-Ames Alliance, Midtown Neighborhood Alliance, North Omaha Neighborhood Alliance, Northwest Omaha Neighborhood Alliance, South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance and Southwest Omaha Neighborhood Alliance.

Early on in the process, the task force commissioned the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Consortium for Organizational Research and Evaluation (CORE) to conduct an assessment of neighborhood need in the city. The assessment included four components:

  • Focus groups with neighborhood alliance leaders
  • A survey of neighborhood alliance and neighborhood association leaders
  • Six community forums (one in each alliance area)
  • Case studies of neighborhood programs in cities similar to Omaha (Louisville, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis, Kansas City, St. Louis and Minneapolis)

Prior to collecting the case study data, the research team identified four possible organizational approaches to neighborhood assistance programs or centers:

  • A separate 501(c)(3) not-for-profit entity is created with a permanent staff and budget, and a board of directors provides direction to its programs and activities.
  • Services to neighborhood associations are provided by the coordinating efforts of a strong, grassroots group of alliances. The alliances independently provide the locus of neighborhood development and advocacy.
  • Neighborhood alliance leaders serve as the majority of members on a board of directors of a permanently staffed center that provides assistance and programming to neighborhood associations.
  • City employees in the planning or community development office, the mayor’s office or a separate agency provide assistance with neighborhood development and function as advocates for neighborhood associations and groups.

Based on its findings, CORE developed six recommendations to consider when deciding on next steps:

  • The loss of the Neighborhood Center created a void that needs to be filled.
  • Neighborhood associations need support to maintain their viability and sustainability (this support could be funding, organizational development and/or administrative support).
  • Omaha’s neighborhood alliances should play a more active role in the operation, development and mentoring of neighborhood associations. They should be advocates for Omaha’s neighborhood associations.
  • There needs to be a more structured relationship with the City of Omaha with a stable base of funding.
  • In addition to neighborhood associations, neighborhood alliances and the City of Omaha, other stakeholders who have interests in neighborhoods must be identified.
  • Neighborhood Scan can be an effective tool to help understand neighborhood conditions, but before it is implemented, the neighborhood has to be adequately informed of its purpose, and the neighborhood association cannot be viewed as a code enforcement agency.

As the next step in this strategic process, the task force has proposed the Omaha Neighborhood Engagement (ONE) initiative, whose mission will be to actively facilitate the development of neighborhoods in the City of Omaha with a professional staff focused on advocacy, development and education for Omaha’s neighborhood alliances and associations.

Pending approval of the city’s proposed $50,000 in neighborhood support for 2015, an additional $100,000 in private support must be secured to launch the ONE initiative. An update on the ONE initiative will be provided following the Omaha City Council’s Aug. 25 vote on the 2015 budget.

Land Bank ordinance before City Council 7/22

Omaha is facing a crisis. Vacant, abandoned and tax-delinquent lots and structures litter our city resulting in depressed property values and loss of property taxes. The perceived and real lack of investment compounds feelings of despair and poor self-image in many of the hardest hit neighborhoods. These conditions create havens for crime and present significant challenges to attaining a good quality of life. 

Currently, more than 7,000 parcels in Omaha have some level of code violation, including more than 700 structures with demolition orders and nearly 4,000 parcels with an “unfit/unsafe” designation (meaning they are uninhabitable and in need of significant repair). More than half of these violations are concentrated in neighborhoods east of 42nd Street in North, South and Midtown Omaha. More than 25,000 parcels are vacant across Douglas County (including new lots). As of June 2013, delinquent property taxes and special assessments totaled $1,377,109.61. According to the Center for Community Progress, different combinations of these conditions lower nearby property values anywhere from 2.1 to 9.4 percent.

Land Bank Case Statement

LandBankDemoMap

Land Bank Ordinance

 

 

Omaha Area Fireworks/Gun Amnesty Day

July 4th will be the last day this season to legally use “consumer fireworks” in the City of Omaha.   The Omaha Police Department will be hosting a Metro Area Fireworks/Gun Amnesty Day on Saturday July 12, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. for those who have fireworks/guns that they would like to properly dispose of.   The event will be held at two locations in the metro area and will accept all fireworks, ammunition and guns with no questions asked.

Locations:

Omaha Fire Station #43, 5505 North 103rd Street

Seymour Smith Park, 72nd and Harrison Street

Those participating in the event will be the Omaha Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, La Vista Police Department, Ralston Police Department, Omaha Fire Department, Papillion Police Department, Bellevue Police Department, Ralston Volunteer Fire Department, Nebraska State Fire Marshal and Omaha Public Works Department.

The Fireworks/Gun Amnesty Day has many goals that would be beneficial for public participation.  The day gives the public the opportunity to dispose of fireworks, firearms, ammunition, or any other explosive devices at a safe location with no questions asked.  The operation will also give authorities the opportunity to educate the public on the dangers of fireworks and other explosives.

Note:  If you have a firearm you would like to dispose of, it is helpful if they are unloaded, but it is not necessary.  If you are unable to unload the gun, or are unsure if it is loaded, please ask for help before you remove it from your vehicle.

Due to the anonymous nature of this event, we would ask that no video footage is shot of people taking part in the amnesty event.  There will be an opportunity to film the fireworks and guns collected at the Police Impound Lot, 78th and F Street, at 3:30 p.m.  There will also be opportunities to interview officers involved in the operation.  

 

Fireworks safety information can be found on the following websites: 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives:  www.atf.com

National Council on Fireworks Safety:  www.fireworksafety.com

 

General rules concerning fireworks in the State of Nebraska:

Omaha Municipal codes:  http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=10945

State statute definitions: http://uniweb.legislature.ne.gov/laws/statutes.php?statute=28-1241

Unlawful throwing: http://uniweb.legislature.ne.gov/laws/statutes.php?statute=s2812042000

Importation into state: http://uniweb.legislature.ne.gov/laws/statutes.php?statute=s2812048000

 

For more information contact Sergeant Matt Manhart at 402-444-5626, 402-505-0937 or mmanhart@ci.omaha.ne.us.

Coffee with a Cop at Louie M’s on Monday July 7

Coffee with a Cop is a simple concept; Police and community members come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink a cup of coffee. In over 175 cities and towns in 36 states, Coffee with a Cop has improved community trust, police legitimacy and partnership building.

One of the keys to Coffee with a Cop’s success is that it removes the physical barriers and crisis situations that routinely define interactions between police officers and community members. Instead, Coffee with a Cop allows for a relaxed, informal one-on-one interaction in a friendly atmosphere.

The Southeast Precinct is hosting Coffee with a Cop on Monday, July 7, 2014, from 8 to 9 a.m. at Louie M’s, 1718 Vinton Street.

 

Stop in for breakfast or a cup of coffee, and meet the officers that work in the area.

 

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