Wednesday, April 04, 2001

Cincinnati initiates big sweep

By Robert Anglen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        First they went after junked cars, now Cincinnati officials are promising to clean up more than just streets.

        For the first time, all city departments will be organized in a 10-week program that will sweep through each of the city's 52 neighborhoods.

        That means building, health and fire inspectors will be stepping up inspections and issuing orders to violators; public service employees will be picking up litter and cleaning graffiti; fire division employees will be giving away smoke detectors and batteries; and other city employees will be planting trees, picking up trash or painting fire hydrants.

        “The final outcome will be an example of pride and excellence,” Mayor Charlie Luken said Tuesday.

        “It's definitely needed,” said Councilman Chris Monzel, who helped kick off the Big Cincinnati Sweep at the Price Hill Recreation Center. “We need to clean this city up and make it look good. It's simple stuff, anyone can do it.”

        The mascot for the program is Sweeper, a 6-foot roller skating pig who will bring a broom to weekly events in the neighborhoods scheduled for the sweep.

        On the heels of the city's Operation Clean Sweep, which has crews citing and towing illegally parked vehicles, Mr. Luken and City Manager John Shirey announced the latest neighborhood beautification effort.

        City Council for the last year has stressed neighborhood programs, saying the city has for too long ignored community concerns while focusing on large-scale downtown projects.

        The first week of the program will focus on East Price Hill, West Price Hill, Westwood, Sedamsville, Riverside and Sayler Park.

        A hot line and Web site have been set up to encourage residents to get involved and to provide an update of events. The phone number is 591-6000 and the Web address is


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