Savan must fight to reclaim neighborhood from decay
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As I return annually to visit my elderly mother in the Borger Gade area of Savan on St. Thomas - where I am presently - I am dismayed with the worsening condition of the neighborhood.
This is prompting me to reminisce about the quaint and historic town of my youth, where men and women weeded overgrown bush, water flowed from hydrants to wash gutters, the street was swept clean daily and there were beautiful, colorful painted houses where owners and renters alike took pride in cleaning their yards, the areas surrounding the front of their homes and their neighbors' homes.
There were no sounds of gun fire, only the beating of tin pans and sweet music filling the air.
All this has been replaced by overgrown trees blocking scenic views, broken public steps and bush growing so tall it is covering houses, roadways and dangling from electrical and cable wires like Christmas decorations.
Abandoned, dilapidated houses, out of which bats fly nightly, can pose health problems. Streets and yards are littered with broken, discarded furniture and appliances, gutters are filled with debris of every description.
There are garbage cans aligning various street corners that are emptied daily, but trash that is spilled on the ground is left behind and never swept, allowing it, and broken glass, to adorn the streets.
Where is the code enforcement?
The sound of sweet music gave way to gun fire so frequent one would think it's a natural phenomenon occurring nightly, as natural as the crowing of roosters at dawn.
Home values have depreciated greatly due to the decaying conditions, but homeowners' insurance and property taxes are steadily on the upswing.
The days of my youth may be long gone, but the town of Savan is here and in desperate need of rescue. This is the St. Thomas that tourists are not to see, but we the residents deal with daily.
People of Savan, it is time to rise up, protest, own up and reclaim your town.
Remember, complacency never brings about change, Involvement does. Get involved.
- June DeGraff Phillips, Florida