TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) - — Leon County Commission chairman Rick Minor said he wants to give a major street in Tallahassee a major face-lift.
"North Monroe Street is the gateway to Tallahassee," said Minor. "More people come into Tallahassee through that North Monroe I-10 interchange."
Minor said he plans to ask commissioners to launch a task force targeting a specific part of the road, from the I-10 interchange to Tharpe Street. He said the idea first came after hearing concerns from business owners in the area.
"A lot of crime and blight," said Minor. "A lot of neighbors and businesses in the area will tell you it's suffering some decline, and we need to get on it."
"We've definitely seen a lot more homeless people, and we've seen some crime," said Mike Kane, the general manager at Crystal River Seafood Restaurant. "It just leaves a bad impression and is hard to deal with at the time."
Minor says he hopes the change will happen in two steps.
"Because of COVID, a lot of our homeless people have been relocated to those hotels temporarily along North Monroe," said Minor. "Right now, we're working on redistributing those folks so that they're not all concentrated on North Monroe."
Minor doesn't blame the homeless but would prefer that, while staying in hotels during the pandemic, they are distributed more evenly throughout the community. He said the process has already started, and that the community is also working on longer-term solutions to address homelessness.
Minor also believes added police patrol can be beneficial for everybody.
"We're asking law enforcement to increase their activity in that area to reduce to crime and some other things we've been hearing," said Minor.
The idea is to beautify the area and help give it the best first impression it can receive.
"The front door of Tallahassee is North Monroe," Minor said. "What I want to and what neighbors and businesses want to do is make it something we can be proud of."
Minor plans to propose creating this task force at the next county meeting on Tuesday.