MARIETTA, GA -- The US Department of Justice announced today that Marietta will be awarded $175,000 this year for the city's Weed and Seed program to fight crime in the Franklin Road area. The city is also eligible to compete for additional funding up to $175,000 annually for the next four years. Marietta is one of 32 communities in the United States included in today's announcement.
The Weed and Seed funding helps rebuild and restructure communities that have suffered because of criminal activity and social decay. The program encourages residents to work with law enforcement agencies to deter crime, identify resources and restore the community.
The federal grant will help fund additional shifts of police patrols in the area and allow the city to hire a program manager to coordinate resources -- including police, non-profit organizations and the community -- to fight crime on Franklin Road.
The Weed and Seed program also brings federal resources to Marietta to join city police in tackling crime.
The Marietta Police Department has forged working relationships with the community to make Franklin Road a better place to live.
"The City of Marietta is serious about cleaning up Franklin Road," City Manager Bill Bruton said. "People should know Marietta is not a place to commit crime, especially Franklin Road."
The selection of the Franklin Road neighborhood as a Weed and Seed community is the result of a four-year effort by the city of Marietta to produce positive changes for the residents and business owners in the area. The effort began with the establishment of the Franklin Road Task Force and Marietta Weed and Seed committee.
Mayor Bill Dunaway said being selected a Weed and Seed community is a major step in the city's efforts to revitalize Franklin Road, a goal city council established this year.
"The resources that will be made available to Marietta will help us improve safety, enhance the community and begin citizen-involved redevelopment in an area of the city that is in great need," Dunaway said. "We are very excited about the possibilities."
The city's relationships with the community in fighting crime were also a factor in Marietta being awarded the 2006 All-America City award. Marietta is the first Georgia city in 30 years to win the award.