Officials in Millville are working to remove what many consider to be an eyesore in the city. Some feel it's the source of many other problems around town, and hope by removing it, many of the issues will also be eliminated.
"I think it's disgusting." It's supposed to be an area where people can relax and enjoy downtown Millville. "It's a lot of hanging out, cooling out."
But the kind of activity the High Street Park has been attracting is less than attractive for local residents and businesses. "If they can get it cleaned up, it'd feel a lot safer around here," said Elmer Camba, manager of Little Caesars Pizza.
A notorious place for drinking, loitering, and littering, "the wall" which runs through the park and along the railroad tracks, is a specific cause of concern - one business owners and city officials are looking to address. "Bringing down that wall will eliminate an area in which people congregate and sit through the course of the day and drink alcohol and exchange drugs," said Millville Mayor Tim Shannon.
"We've done a tremendous job to try and improve our downtown district and that's one of the first things you see," said Millville City Commissioner Dale Finch, "First impressions last, so we wanna clean it up."
City officials were recently presented with a petition bearing more than 400 signatures of those who want the issue addressed, many coming from local businesses who would like to see the wall gone and the area cleaned up. "It would make our business better around here," said Camba.
"They have a concern," said Finch, "they have an investment in their business and downtown and they want to thrive and survive, and so do we."
Officials say cleanups in the area will begin within the next couple of weeks, along with stepped up police patrols. They also plan to have the wall removed within the next month- hoping eliminating the congregation point will also eliminate a lot of the problems. "It's been a concern of ours for awhile," said Shannon, "and we just want to address it."
City officials say they are considering replacing the wall with a decorative fence in the future, but first want to see what happens in the next couple of months after the wall is removed.