A local group is attempting to bolster revitalization in the south downtown area as Friends of Putnam prepare to hold a clean-up event on Thursday.
The walk and clean-up will begin at a local, Putnam Avenue business and conclude near the Sixth Street bridge. Joseph Nezbeth, President of Friends of Putnam, says the public is invited to participate.
“Along the way, we are going to clean up trash or whatever we find and hand out flyers educating the neighbors, if we will, or interested people in our efforts and what our goals are for the district; the neighborhood as a whole, actually.”
While efforts to restore Putnam have been in motion for a number of years, crime and homelessness rates have risen in the area.
“We need to lower the crime rate, for one. Homeless is another issue. Code enforecement–we need better coverage for the housing that’s here; some of it is dilapidated beyond repair. It’s a haven for the homeless; they move in and that kind of stuff. We want to clean up all the brush along the river banks so that’ll make it less inviting for the homeless to pitch their tents.”
The Putnam area was established in approximately 1801 and has since served as a historical landmark in Muskingum County. Potential future goals for Friends of Putnam include encouraging tourism efforts in the neighborhood.