August 2009 Highlights

In August, Winston-Salem dedicated our new public safety training facility, and started implementing new efforts to deal with the fallout from recession-fueled home foreclosures.

Public safety training facility dedication:     Winston-Salem and Forsyth County now have a new public safety training and evidence storage facility at 1200 N. Patterson Avenue.  Law enforcement and firefighting classes will be conducted there, along with the secure modern storage of evidence for criminal investigations.  Dedicated August 17, the facility is named the Alexander Beaty Public Safety Training and Support Center in honor of a leading former assistant city manager.  Completion of this facility meets one of our priority capital needs for effective public safety operations in Winston-Salem.

Housing, homeownership, and neighborhood protection:     The City of Winston-Salem is partnering with other public and private agencies to help encourage homeownership and protect neighborhoods.  Earlier this year, Winston-Salem and Forsyth County were awarded $2.625 million from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development through the N.C. Dept. of Commerce, to help respond to the high number of home foreclosures seen over the past two years.  Also participating are local real-estate agents, financial institutions, and the non-profit Center for HomeOwnership.  We were the first local governments in North Carolina authorized to begin implementing this effort, known as the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

Under this program, prospective first-time homebuyers can apply for mortgage loan assistance to purchase a foreclosed home in one of the many areas hard-hit by elevated foreclosure rates.  The program both helps qualified families move into responsible homeownership, and reduces the number of vacant homes in our neighborhoods.  That's good for our economy and our neighborhoods.  Details on the program are available at www.MyFirstHomeWSFC.com .  

Officers deployed abroad:     As of this August, Winston-Salem has at least 15 city police officers deployed overseas in the National Guard or Army Reserve.  Please help us remember and honor the dedication and sacrifice of these men and women and their families:  Russell L. Barbee, Humberto G. Cantu Jr., Brian P. Dawson, Daniel S. Gentle, James D. Grigsby, Marcus T. Hamilton, Tangela Mauel-Watts, Tyler Chilton, Darin R. Miles, Donnie A. Nicholson, Stanley Nieves, Kevin P. Pena, John E. Tesh, Daniel C. Twomey, and Todd C. Woods.  Best wishes to all for a safe deployment and return home.   

Neighborhoods continue to organize:     I want to add an encouraging note to the good folks in Salem Woods and Sheffield Gardens for your continuing work in setting up neighborhood associations.  Sheffield Gardens is next meeting at 7 p.m. on September 1; and Salem Woods will meet again at 7 p.m. on September 22.

In addition, let me thank all the neighbors who came out and participated in a great community discussion at Hathaway Park yesterday (August 30).  For those of you who are new to this monthly report list, welcome, and I look forward to continuing to hear from you.

As I said last month, neighborhood associations serve to help bring residents of an area together to address a broad range of shared concerns.  I take every opportunity to encourage the active cooperation of neighbors working together.

Step Up Forsyth:     The annual Step Up Forsyth program to encourage better health through increased physical activity will kick off Sept. 10 and run through Nov. 7.  I'll present the mayor's proclamation at the opening event at 10 a.m. Sept. 10 at Corpening Plaza.  The Forsyth County Health Department is the event's principal sponsor and coordinator.  For full details and a registration form, go to

http://www.cityofws.org/Home/Departments/Transportation/Pedestrians/Articles/StepUpForsyth

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