Residents share concerns at Beloit community meeting

BELOIT, Wis. (WMTV) - Dozens of residents gathered at the Merrill Community Center on Wednesday for a Neighborhood Listening Session.

The meeting began with residents voicing their concerns they feel the Merrill Neighborhood has to city officials.

Norvain Pleasant, Jr. says he wanted to express his frustrations over street pavement and potholes.

“You're not going to get anything done if you don’t talk about it so that's why I'm here,” said Pleasant, Jr.

He’s lived in the Beloit area for fifty years and has seen all kinds of crime.

“It used to be a lot worse over here on the East side and now it seems like everything is happening over on the West side,” Pleasant Jr. said.

Andre Fair said he used to live in the area but has since moved to a different part of the city.

“When I lived here it was a lot different you knew every name and every house and who occupied each one,” Fair said.

He believes violence is a big concern for the community.

“When you have violence against one another and safety is the upmost importance for me and my family members,” said Fair.

This comes after a triple shooting in the Hackett neighborhood on Monday.

Fair said he came to the meeting because many of his relatives still live near Merrill Neighborhood.

“After a tough weekend and a tough couple of days that this city has endured I think that this could be great,” said Fair. “Kind of help us move forward and hopefully come up with some answers to some tough questions.”

City officials and law enforcement also presented the progress from the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area Plan which was adapted in 2017.

The plan focuses on reducing vacant properties and increasing the number of long-term residents.

The next meeting will be in the Hackett Neighborhood at the Beloit Historical Society on Wednesday, March 27th from 6-8pm.