Following the fatal shootings on River Street last week, Mayor James Fiorentini took a tour of the surrounding Mount Washington area.
He spoke to residents and noticed something that angered him.
“The area was not as clean as I would have hoped,” Fiorentini said “Trash was all over the place and the storm drains were clogged up. I didn’t like what I saw.”
Fiorentini ordered that city street sweepers come out to the area to assist in a clean up this weekend. Two city street sweepers and one private street sweeper came out to the area last weekend to sweep certain streets. The City Council approved extra money in the budget this year for the city to add extra street sweepers.
“Normally, we deposit sand in the winter and sweep during the spring,” Fiorentini said. “But we will send our own street sweepers out during the year.”
In addition to the extra cleanup being done, the mayor also announced police patrols in that area will increase immediately. Extra patrolmen will be on duty monitoring that area for the conceivable future, he said. He also said he expects to make another announcement regarding changes to public safety in the area in the near future.
Fiorentini said he wasn’t sure what the cause was for the excessive amount of trash in the area.
He did note that the day he went out was right after a rain storm, which can cause a lot of trash to gather in spots. City employees were cleaning out storm drains in that area this week.
The mayor went to Facebook to let the community know of his anger of the situation and his solution to fix the problem.
“I was not happy with the general cleanliness of the city,” Fiorentini wrote. “Appearances matter.”
The night of July 23, two men were shot to death in an apparent home invasion on a River Street apartment motivated by the intruders’ belief that drugs and a large amount of cash were in the home, investigators have said.
Many residents responded to Fiorentini’s post with complaints about their own specific neighborhoods and also thanked the mayor for doing something about the mess that surrounds their homes.
The mayor said while the city will do all it can to clean up the areas, it needs help residents as well.
“This has to be a partnership between the city and its citizens,” Fiorentini said. “We aren’t going to be able to sweep every street in the city.”
City inspectors will also visit the neighborhood to check that all buildings in the area are up to code.
The city will also crack down on trash that is left outside homes for long periods of time, the mayor said.
“We want to remind people that trash can only go out the night before it is supposed to be picked up,” Fiorentini said. “It can’t be left out over the weekend, or $50 fines will be issued. “
Fiorentini asked residents for their help in picking up any trash they see on the road and to clean off any storm drains they notice are clogged.
Residents can fill out a storm basin cleaning request on the city’s website if they see any clogged storm drains.