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Lawrence reinvesting in older, high-crime areas

Posted at 8:37 PM, Apr 03, 2019

LAWRENCE — "Everything from storm sewers, to water mains, to sewer mains, to actually streets," Lawrence Mayor, Steve Collier, said. "We got behind in the city of Lawrence quite frankly. We just got behind."

Mayor Collier is focusing on two issues to help improve the city: aging infrastructure and high-crime areas.

"Infrastructure development, economic development, those kinds of things really do affect crime," Lawrence Police Chief, David Hoffman, said.

A great example of the city's efforts is the "Post Road Laundromat" that replaced a bar, which was once a considerable crime magnet.

"We needed a laundry mat here. We don't have one around here," Gurmeet Singh, Manager of "post Road Laundromat," said. "There's a lot of people that don't have cars, so they can just walk in here."

The police chief says some of their best crime-fighting tools might not be on their gun belts - but in the sidewalks and parks.

"If we can improve our street lighting, which we are all over the city of Lawrence, that draws investors to us," Chief Hoffman said. "One of our hot locations a couple years ago it was an apartment complex at 42nd and Post. It used to be called Pinnacle Square. Now it's called the Maison Gardens. The new owners put $1 million worth of improvements into that place, and we are finally starting to see a reduction in activity."

As the city continues to grow, Police Chief Hoffman says there has been an increase in populations and the school district is the fastest growing in Indiana.

Developers are building more housing. Positive partnerships are crucial to invest in neighborhoods that need it the most.

According to the city, neighbors on the west side can look forward to six water main projects and two sewer projects.