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Cantonment Redevelopment Plan
CANTONMENT -- Parts of Escambia County have seen a lot of growth over the years, but some people living in Cantonment feel they're being neglected. From abandoned houses, few streetlights, to a lack of sidewalks, people have a long list of things they want fixed.
Fortunately, some improvements could be on the way to revitalize Cantonment which is good news to Josh Womack and members of his community who have tried to spruce up the place they call home.
"You have a lot of people here that actually care about their community" said Josh Womack, Cantonment Improvement Committee.
In 2010, Escambia County Commissioners designated Cantonment a blighted area and for good reason.
"There are some areas that are grown over and if they were in another community, they would have been charged to clean them up" said Linda Floyd, Cantonment Resident.
Several old and abandoned houses can be found nearly covered with vegetation. Poor drainage and infrastructure problems plague the area and these are just some of the problems.
"We have some areas you can't even get an ambulance down to some people's homes if someone gets sick" said Calvin Qualls, Cantonment Resident.
Channel 3 News took these concerns to the Escambia County Community Enforcement Director. He tells us, since Cantonment has been deemed a redevelopment area, it qualifies for local and federal funding to make improvements. That same designation was used for other parts of the county that's grown over the years like Warrington, Brownsville, Englewood, Palafox and Barrancas.
"We really have a good idea of what works, what won't work, and we can carry that model out to Cantonment" said Keith Wilkins - Community & Enforcement Escambia Co.
Since the Cantonment Redevelopment Plan was recently developed, it will take a little time to determine how much the suggested upgrades will cost and for funding to kick in. People like Womack are not waiting idly by, with support one of Cantonment's more popular parks in Carver Park have been refurbished with new fencing and playground equipment.
"In Cantonment, it's basically brand new, you have to start from the ground up, and that's what we're doing" said Womack.
The Cantonment Redevelopment Plan will be presented before County Commissioners in December.