MNA-Sponsored Year-End Report
- The 20th Annual Holiday Home Tour in December 2015, featured nine Montford residences and one B&B. This is a self-guided tour of the homes you walk and drive by every day, with details about the architecture and upgrades or renovations. The tour includes festive treats and music, and many chances to meet neighbors. The 2016 Tour, Saturday, December 10, will carry on this community event with 10 homes.
- The 13th annual Montford Music & Arts Festival, May 2016. Music, food, arts and crafts, local plants and food trucks. 2016 saw a vastly improved street layout. The MNA helps with money, volunteers, logistics, and other support.
- The first Montford Art Walk, October 2016, was a walking tour of local Montford artists’ open studios and art, and a glimpse into their interesting house/studio layouts. The Art Walk, held on a beautiful autumn day, was very well received, and we hope it will become an annual event.
- Improved Business Signage: A new MNA project offers signage grants, free design assistance and help with City permits for neighborhood businesses to upgrade their signage. Five neighborhood businesses took advantage of this program, including Chiesa and One-Click Fix.
- Street Banners: For the first time ever, at the end of November, custom-designed street banners on Montford Avenue announced the home tour. More banners announcing other events will follow in 2017.
- House Banners: The MNA board continues to sell Montford house banners (the ones with the hummingbird you see hanging on porches throughout the neighborhood). Those were designed by the Board, and continue to grace more and more homes in Montford.
- Bus Shelters: Two beautifully designed iron bus shelters with protection from wind, rain, and snow, were approved by the HRC. With the City’s financial help, they’ll be built on Montford Ave in 2017, driven by and partially paid for by the MNA (MNA paid half, the City paid for the other half). Each will include panels featuring Montford’s history.
- Halloween Policing: MNA and the Montford Ave convenience store cooperate in funding extra police presence on Halloween night. This includes funding two police officers to patrol Montford Ave.
- Our local Montford Recreation Center does so much for this community, and the MNA has had the privilege to help when we can with funding, volunteers, and publicity for the incredible value they lend to the neighborhood. After-school and holiday day care for kids, workshops in leadership, Easter hunts and Halloween parties, field trips for kids, affordable adult yoga classes, wall rock climbing, ping pong, basketball. Holiday craft fairs and summer yard sales—everything a local community and rec center should be. MNA contributes approximately $1600 a year.
Solving Neighborhood Issues
- I-26: The MNA board organized a major public forum on the I-26 connector project, attended by some 200 neighbors. The NC Department of Transportation discussed how the project will affect Asheville and Montford. The board is working on keeping the dialog alive, working with the City of Asheville, the DOT, and regional players. One of our board members put together a neighborhood-wide survey on the I-26 Connector Project, and the responses help inform our understanding of neighborhood concerns.
- Plan on a Page: At the request of the City, the MNA has written a plan for the neighborhood. The core of the plan is a series of neighborhood challenges, listed in order of importance as decided by a neighborhood-wide survey filled out by 137 neighbors on the Montford Listserv. The MNA will use these to help inform its efforts on neighborhood improvement.
- Bond Issue and Other City Government Issues: Our last very crowded MNA community meeting in October was attended by City officials and the Mayor to explain the Bond issues voted on this last election. They, and the Fire Chief and local police officers, also fielded questions about traffic calming on Montford Ave and Pearson Drive, as well as local complaints about ongoing noise and disruption at the convenience store at Montford Ave and Soco Street.
Spreading the Word
The MNA is responsible for putting out the Montford Newsletter, hand-delivered to some 1200 doors. This is a volunteer effort, and so far, it seems like it’s worth it. We also have a free Montford Listserv, serving anyone who applies, who wants to know what’s going on in the neighborhood. We also have a website: montford.org to find all older newsletters as well as current events in the neighborhood.
MNA Wants You
We want to continue to enhance our home called Montford.
Do you see a need? Do you want to work on one of our projects? Do you want to take action? We need new Board members: Contact MNA Board Co-Secretaries, Sue Russell or Suzanne Devane: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org