Belmont Residents Voice Concerns at Town Hall Meeting

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Thursday night, the public and residents of the Belmont neighborhood in Charlottesville gave City Council an earful of issues they want to see addressed.

Thursday's meeting, held at Clark Elementary School, was part of a series of town hall-style meetings held across Charlottesville. City councilors got a chance to hear some major concerns directly from the public - everything from the Belmont Bridge project to traffic issues.

"We have all realized that this is a really great way to get information...we're coming to your house we're asking about things that are affecting your neighborhood," said Kristin Szakos, city councilor.

The meeting gave the public a chance to voice concerns in a more laid-back setting.

The two options for the Belmont Bridge project came up, but organizers wanted to save those comments for a later date to focus on other issues in the community - like managing traffic.    

Neighbors say there are speeding problems in the neighborhood. Others say they want more police presence.

"We were talking about police patrolling the neighborhood and how we don't see enough of that happening," said Kathy Judge, a Belmont resident.

Loud noises from cars and the pavilion are also things the public wants City Council to address. With just a short amount of time to hear so many concerns, everyone agreed the talks need to continue beyond Thursday.

"Hopefully we just continue the conversation and its great to have the council's hear and the city staff's ear," said Greg Jackson, Belmont Neighborhood Association president.

City staff will start working on solving these issues as soon as Friday.

"We have a lot of our city staff and department heads here who are feverishly taking notes as issues came up so they can go back to the office tomorrow and start addressing a lot of the issues that came up tonight," said Dave Norris, city councilor.

The next town hall-style meeting will be in the Fry's Spring and Johnson Village neighborhoods at the end of March.