Councilman Jose Huizar was in Highland Park Tuesday to announce the launch the comprehensive Clean Communities Initiative, a $1.5 million dollar plan to spruce up the east and northeast areas of his district by fixing sidewalks, cleaning up illegally dumped items and painting over graffiti, as well as tackling other quality of life issues.
As a city work crew waited nearby to pour concrete to repair the sidewalks outside the Highland Park Senior Center, Huizar explained the spending is directed at creating “cleaner and safer” neighborhoods,
The spending allocation includes $250,000 for street repairs approved by the city council earlier this month to repair some of the worst broken and buckled sidewalks in Council District 14, and $500,000 from his council office’s discretionary fund.
“If you google map this area here you’ll see a senior and a stroller walking on the street on the dirt because the street is so buckled that they couldn’t even use the sidewalks,” Huizar said.
The councilman said he wants to make sure “residents feel proud of their neighborhood,” and that was a good reason for announcing the initiative at the Highland Park Senior Center.
Huizar said the initiative would, among other things, also include a roving truck to pick up bulky items, video cameras for catching polluters, trimming trees, removing graffiti and community clean-up crews in Huizar’s downtown and Eastside 14th Council District.
He said the effort would result in increased maintenance along commercial corridors; the monthly installation of dumpsters for getting rid of bulky items; putting 100 public trash cans along sidewalks, planting about 200 trees and monthly community clean-ups.
“We are working with [Huizar] staff to find the worst of the worst locations in CD14 and the most needed ones” in regards to sidewalks fixing, said Ron Olive with the Bureau of Street Services. “In a couple weeks we will resurface Figueroa to York to Ave 52, again that’s outside the initiative but is very beneficial,” he added.
“We are very happy to have a cleaner neighborhood in Highland Park,” said Monica Alcaraz, president of Highland Park Neighborhood Council.
The 500-foot long stretch of sidewalk along Figueroa Street will be done by the end of the week according to Olive.
“I’m very happy to say that we are not only fixing the sidewalks but also fixing the senior center, it needs a lot of attention,” Huizar told EGP, noting the work would be done with $150,000 in funds from a federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
The center makeover will begin in about 6 months, according to Huizar.
The CD14 Clean Communities initiative will work with local services from local non-profits like Clean and Green and the Fuego Tech Rangers “to provide community maintenance services and address quality of life issues in CD14.
Information from City News Service was used in this report.