News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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November 9, 2012

Residents working to revive Collett Park neighborhood association

TERRE HAUTE — Residents of Collett Park are working to revive a neighborhood association and will convene the group’s first meeting in five years at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the park’s historical pavillion.

“We started the association partly because we like the idea of having a sense of community with the park, and so many of us have grown up around it,” said Anna Lee Chalos-McAleese, a Collett Park homeowner.

The association, she said, was formed in 2000 with a nonprofit status. Regaining that nonprofit status will be a future goal of the association. However, the goal of Tuesday’s meeting is to reunite residents of more than 400 homes in the association’s borders, which span Beech Street on the south, 11th Street on the east, Florida Avenue on the north and Sixth Street on the west.

“Several of us are second generation [homeowners] and have raised our families here,” Chalos-McAleese said.

“I feel like we are a positive collection of people who are just wanting to preserve what we have and the integrity of it,” she said. “I think we feel like through a sense of camaraderie we will be able to accomplish that much more than just staying as individuals in our homes and wishing for that.”

The association, which will hold regular meetings at the park pavillion, will have contact with city officials on neighborhood issues, Chalos-McAleese said, and conduct neighborhood picnics as ways to bring neighbors together.

Neighborhood association officers will be elected Tuesday, including representatives from the north, south, east and west areas of the neighborhood.

In addition, the association will begin accepting an annual $20 fee.

Trees Inc. will make a presentation, Chalos-McAleese said, on efforts to restore trees in the neighborhood that were damaged in a storm nearly two years ago. Donna Crawford, a resident and former neighborhood association board member, will offer information on how homeowners can obtain brass plaques, which have an image of the Collett Park Pavillion, for historic homes in the neighborhood.

Lew Hackleman said he views the association as a way for homeowners to protect their investment.

“The last time the association really met was when Union Hospital was taking over Seventh Street. We were afraid that encroachment would begin to damage one of the premiere neighborhoods in the city,” said Hackleman, who has lived in the Collett Park neighborhood since 1968.

He said reviving the association is not to “draw up covenants.” Rather, it is an effort to bring people together in discussion of issues, such as abandoned homes or neighborhood crime.

“We don’t want to be exclusionary. We want people to feel like we are a real neighborhood. It doesn’t happen so much anymore, as people tend to be more insular,” Hackleman said. “That neighborhood feeling is important to maintain.”

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.

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