Rookie councilman looks to turn around troubled Regency Park

Councilman thinks plan could turn around troubled Regancy Park

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - One Montgomery city leader hasn’t given up hope in resurrecting Regency Park off Highway 231 South. Where others have tried and failed, this city councilman is confident his plan will work.

In mid-April, a teen’s body was found a mere 100 yards from the Regency Park Community Center. She’d been stabbed to death.

“I knew I had to jump to action then,” said Councilman Oronde Mitchell. He knew something had to change quickly.

Montgomery City Councilman Oronde Mitchell says he has a plan to turn around the once safe Regency Park area.
Montgomery City Councilman Oronde Mitchell says he has a plan to turn around the once safe Regency Park area. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

“And the biggest thing is we should have our children in place,” said Mitchell.

Kiante Lee is among those who want to make it happen.

“It’s going to take all of us as a community,” Lee said as someone who grew up in Regency Park.

Regency Park has suffered from high crime in Montgomery. It was once a safe area for children to play in.
Regency Park has suffered from high crime in Montgomery. It was once a safe area for children to play in. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Mitchell said he’s got an idea with three components; reopen the community center and add a computer lab and a social worker. And he wants to till up a neighborhood garden, an opportunity for neighbors to get their hands dirty in a good way.

“We’re teaching whatever life issues out here in the garden. We’re looking at a grant, hopefully that grant will pay for the majority, but we’re looking at a $150,000,” Mitchell said.

The councilman conceded there are probably people who have reservations about his plan, plans that have crumbled in the past by those who tried to do the same thing. But this is a challenge the rookie councilman welcomes.

“It’s a different person trying to do different things now,” he said.

Denise Farren, for one, is hopeful, but admitted this could be a tall order for Mitchell. The crime rate is among the highest in the city.

“I believe if everyone gets together and joins, I think we can do something,” said Farren.

Regency Park was once a thriving and safe neighborhood back in the 1980s. Mitchell hopes to rebuild it brick-by-brick. And he hopes to have everything in place, up and running within three months.

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