Public safety, new arena discussed at Savannah 1st District town - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Public safety, new arena discussed at Savannah 1st District town hall meeting

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

From public safety to the plans for a new arena in their neighborhood, residents of Savannah's first district got to discuss their concerns with city, county and state leaders.

A town hall meeting hosted by Alderman Van Johnson had a good showing Monday night, with about a hundred or so in attendance.

Elected officials said this was a great opportunity to engage with the people they represent on these key issues, and added they took a lot of notes on the things suggested.

Following a report by each of the police precincts that patrol Savannah's first district, audience members got to ask questions, or in some cases make comments, regarding public safety.

One woman in the audience had this to say about the community's role in crime prevention.

"You can't put all this on city council. You can't put all of this on the mayor. You can't put all of this on Van Johnson. You got to be the police in your house."

"I think it's universally understood that public safety starts in the home. It starts with parents, it starts with loved ones," added Alderman Van Johnson.

From crime and crime prevention, the discussion shifted to the new arena project, and a presentation from City Manager Stephanie Cutter.

"We're waiting on a report, but we wanted to bring our community up to speed, where we've been up to this point. I still think universally, there's support, that should remain there. And I think barring any environmental issues, or extraordinary issues we don't know about, then my preference is that it will go where we promised the residents that it will go," said Alderman Johnson.

The report Alderman Johnson is referring to is the one from Barrett Sports Group, the firm hired by the city to determine the viability and cost of the new arena in it's planned site in West Savannah. That report is due to council and the Arena Advisory Committee this month. 

Cloverdale resident Mary Purvis said, "I think it was represented very well. We're looking forward to having the civic center in our area. And I enjoyed everything, everybody said what they had to say. And hopefully we move on from this."

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