Houston Road residents form neighborhood committee

Published 2:46 pm Monday, January 4, 2021

Residents along the 3.5 stretch of Houston road that runs from Skyuka Road in Columbus to Highway 108 in Mill Spring have formed a neighborhood committee. “Houston is a great community, close to town and one of the few spots in Polk County that hasn’t been carved up for development, says” Sherry Johnson Committee lead. “Like other communities we are seeing an uptick in activities that are concerning and we don’t want to take the wait and see approach. We want to address these issues while they are relatively small in an effort to maintain our quiet community.”

The Houston Road Community Committee (HRCC) has identified three focus areas: 1) Safety & Security which focuses on working with local authorities to curb crime and speeding along Houston Road, 2) Beautification that focuses on litter, and 3) Communication. The beautification committee will work with the NC DOT to organize two yearly trash cleanup events, where residents will be provided the garbage bags and trash sticks to collect litter along Houston.

The purpose of this committee is to establish and maintain communication channels where residents can be alerted regarding safety and community activities such as roadside trash pickup. The committee has established an email box and a Nextdoor page to promote to assist with communications.

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John Wilkins is a Polk County native and longtime resident of Houston Road. “I’m constantly picking up trash in front of my property. It’s at the point I keep a trash bag and gloves in my vehicle so that I can quickly pick up what individuals have tossed out of their car as the pass through our community. Individuals cut through our community to avoid the Town of Columbus and doing so leave their litter in our front yards. I don’t believe these individuals are residents of Houston Road,” states Wilkins.

Wilkins, along with several others, have banded together to form the HRCC.

“I’ve decided to head-up the litter collection. I’ll organize an event twice per to get the residents out to assist with cleaning up the roadside” says Wilkins.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to what happens in our community. Most of the people here are quiet, neighborly and they mind the own business. They are there if you need them, but for the most part they leave along unless you need assistance. We would like to keep it that way” states Becky Oliver, long time resident of Houston Road. “I’ve lived here my entire life and I want to preserve the tranquility and friendliness I’ve grown to love.”

Residents along Houston Road will receive a letter with instructions how to register with the committee. This will allow them to receive alerts and updates regarding activities within the Houston Road Community. There are no fee or dues to join. All residents are members solely based on fact they are property owners along the Houston Road corridor. The committee encourages residents to reach out and provide their contact information when they receive the letter. “We are stronger when we bond together to maintain what we have grown to love and enjoy about our community,” Johnson said.

Submitted by Sherry Johnson