PARKERSBURG - The city soon will launch its largest and most comprehensive initiative to date in several areas in the city aimed at cleaning up and rehabilitating blighted areas and other neighborhoods that have been underserved, according to a release from Mayor Bob Newell.
Starting April 18, city officials from code enforcement, the police department, street cleaning, street maintenance and sign department will begin evaluating three-block areas. The goal is to address several different areas of concern.
"This goes beyond code officers notifying residents regarding trash and debris violations and dilapidated structures. This initiative will provide assistance in the removal and disposal of trash and debris located on properties," Newell said in a press release.
Photos by Jody Murphy
An abandoned house in Parkersburg may soon be targeted for cleanup as part of the city’s spring initiative to clean up and rehabilitate blighted areas in the city.
The program is also geared toward city maintenance issues that have long been ignored in these areas, Newell added.
Street maintenance and cleaning supervisors will be listing and scheduling street cleaning, patching and paving projects, while at the same time eliminating grass and weeds on public rights of way.
Abandoned vehicles will also be tagged and removed. Additionally, missing street signs will be installed and other signs and sign posts will be replaced as needed.
Cleaning up the City
The program will begin in south Parkersburg in areas along Camden Avenue. The process will go as follows:
A team consisting of officials from code enforcement, police department, street maintenance department, street cleaning and street signs department will walk a three-street area to identify all the issues.
The team will leave door hangers regarding any violations of trash and debris with information on how to get help removing trash and debris.
A different team will follow-up with trash and debris removal, street repairs, sign repair and replacement and street cleaning.
"It is difficult to expect property owners to clean up their properties when the streets and other public areas have been ignored. Cities have a sad history of ignoring areas that are out of sight," Newell said.
Officials from the code department also will be delivering information about available funds for emergency home repairs and owner-occupied rehabilitation money. There are grants ranging up to $35,400 available to city residents through the development department in the Emergency Housing Program.
Additionally, low interest loans are available up to $48,000, based on qualifications, in the Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Program. The monies are federal funds
Residents will also receive scheduling information on the removal of trash, debris and abandoned vehicles. Citations will be issued to those who refuse to take advantage of the opportunity to become compliant with code regulations.