Neighborhood college opens next week

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 1, 2004

One day after the public schools open, Suffolk Neighborhood College will gear up for its second year of classes.

The eight-class course being offered through the city’s Neighborhood Development Services Department starts at 6 p.m. Sept. 8 with approximately 30 students, said development director Karla Triggle, the department’s development coordinator who is overseeing the college. In subsequent weeks, the class will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. each Thursday.


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The program is designed to help residents become more familiar with the various city departments and services, she said. Participants will find out who they need to speak to for various issues within the city.

&uot;I think the biggest benefit is that participants will be walking away knowing how local government works,&uot; Triggle said. &uot;They will actually get to see how their tax dollars are being spent.&uot;

Students will also learn about services offered by other local and state agencies, including the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, the Western Tidewater Regional Health Department, and the Department of Social Services.

Topics covered in classes will include:

*Services offered through the courts, sheriff’s department and commonwealth’s attorney office;

*Services offered by treasurer’s office, commissioner of revenue, finance department, capital programs, and city assessor’s office;

*Services offered through public works and public utility departments. Topics to be covered include the relationship between the Virginia Department of Transportation and taxing districts; and details about various city services, such as mosquito control, recycling, street light installation, and street maintenance;

*Services/roles of the NDS, and the planning and economic development departments. Topics to be discussed include state building inspections safeguards, building codes and code enforcement in the city’s neighborhoods;

*Suffolk Public Schools and the parks and recreation and tourism departments.

*Public safety information, which will be provided by the representatives from the police and fire departments and the city’s Office of Emergency Services;

*Services offered by the social service and health departments and the SRHA.