AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Packed into the Greater Peace Baptist Church, residents of two Opelika neighborhoods gathered Monday to brainstorm ideas on how to make their communities a better and safer place to live.
"Saying to those citizens, what do you want your community to look like, what do you want it to feel like, what are some things that are bugging you and how can we work together to make improvements," says Opelika Mayor, Gary Fuller.
Atlanta based consulting firm, Market+Main, is working with a steering committee made up of 10 residents to develop a long term plan for Jeter and Carver communities.
"I think both of these neighborhoods will be better and years from now than they are today," explains Fuller.
Monday was the group's second meeting.
Areas suggested for improvement include housing, recreation, green space availability and overall public safety.
The firm presented a series of proposals that involved new housing developments, streetscapes and park and recreation possibilities for both neighborhoods.
"It is well worth the wait," says Opelika resident, Oscar Penn.
Penn has lived in the Jeter community his entire life.
He hopes these new plans will turn his neighborhood around and reflect the thriving opportunities that surround the City of Opelika.
"Upgrading the Jeter and Carver are will help enhance the environment and whole new generations. It will help put the guns down, violence down and the parents can start being parents and the children can be children and they can have a better life for themselves," says Penn.
Mayor Fuller expects to have a final plan presented to the city council in the next several weeks.