First they gave out packets on how to be a good neighbor. Then members of the Town Park Home Owners Association lobbied the Cheektowaga Town Board for stronger code enforcement.
The next logical step, says community activist Stan Kaznowski, is to use those tools and take a hard look at the neighborhood from the development perspective. The neighborhood is holding its own, but it's not getting any better, he says.
"I have a 2-foot-high stack of studies," Kaznowski said, adding that there is plenty of paperwork to go around. "Why don't we ask the people what kinds of businesses would you support?"
Kaznowski, who is the president of the Town Park Home Owners, met recently with town officials and Debbie Liegl, president of the Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce.
"We would certainly like to see more business in that area and regrowth in that area," she said.
The area being looked at is Genesee Street from the Buffalo city line to Pine Ridge Road and Walden Avenue from Buffalo to Harlem Road. Some planners would like to see a cross-border initiative.
"The city has done some good things in terms of neighborhood preservation," Kaznowski said. "Let's put our heads together and see what we can do."
He said Grant Street is a perfect example of the type of revitalization he would like to see on the once-thriving thoroughfares.
"It's clean, it's holding its own," he said of Grant Street.
Supervisor Dennis H. Gabryszak, who is receptive to Kaznowski's ideas, will become an assemblyman Jan. 1.
"We're going to see what we can do jointly to stabilize the community, to stabilize the business neighborhood over there," Gabryszak said.
Liegl said the Cheektowaga Economic Development Corp. might be able to help businesses with low-interest loans.
"I certainly think it's worth trying," she said.
She said the chamber is waiting to see the results of a neighborhood survey. Kaznowski said there would be more meetings about the neighborhood and a possible survey early next year.