By Chadwick Dolgos
Saddled with spiraling crime and increased resident complaints, Stowe commissioners are exploring creative solutions to never-ending problems.
During the board’s April 11 agenda meeting commissioner Kelly Cropper-Hall proposed an initiative to recruit young artists in the area to display their artwork throughout the township.
“I want art in the parks and art in the streets,” said Hall.
“I want some kind of mural painted on that big wall on Dohrman Street.”
Hall said art can uplift the community, and believes young artists will draw a sense of pride and purpose from seeing their work on display throughout the township.
“[Young people] need to start taking ownership in our town, and I think this is a very small, beginning step to start being proud of where you live.”
The board unanimously approved a motion during its regular business meeting the following evening permitting commissioners to apply for grants and consider other funding avenues. No spending was approved for the initiative.
“I actually wanted to do this a few years back with the Sto-Rox art students,” said Commissioner Cheryl McDermott, who said she supports the art initiative. “My idea was to paint old businesses from past years on the walls because I thought the nostalgia would bring back memories and show our youth what we had at one time.”
According to Hall, the art initiative is step two of a multi-step process. The first was hiring an assistant to the ordinance officer that focuses solely on citing trash infractions.
Hall made the proposal during the board’s March 7th agenda meeting in an effort to implement a system that will make for a cleaner Stowe Township.
The board unanimously approved the creation of the code enforcement position and are looking to fill the role immediately. The part-time code enforcement officer will receive $15 an hour for 25 hours of work per week.
After the art initiative is off the ground, which Hall hopes is sometime in July or August, she wants to create a community organization that meets once a month to help cut grass and do other neighborly favors for veterans and elderly residents of the township.
Hall noted that if anybody is interested in helping her create this organization, to call her at (412) 337-9993 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“There are a lot of plans to be presented, but we’re doing it in baby steps.”