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Cleanup returns, for a fee

Idle program offers workers who will sweep debris, pick weeds, more.

June 03, 2010|By Melanie Hicken
  • Julio Hernandez, right, a program specialist with the city of Glendale's Neighborhood Services department, oversees a property maintenance program called Property Clean Up Pros. The workers are community service workers.
Julio Hernandez, right, a program specialist with the… (Scott Smeltzer )

Homeowners facing legal action for derelict property conditions have a new option for getting their land up to snuff, one that covers any job from removing weeds and overgrown vegetation to hauling away waste and debris.

The city's Property Clean Up Pros Program is an expanded version of what's been offered in previous years. The city's Neighborhood Services Division would oversee court-ordered community service workers who cleared vacant parcels and removed graffiti from the public right-of-way.

The program had been on hold for more than a year after budget cuts kept city officials from filling the position charged with running the daily operations.

That's when members of the Committee for a Clean & Beautiful Glendale started to notice the effects of the program's absence.

"These were a lot of the services that weren't being provided," said Juan J. Gonzalez, who oversees the program. "[Committee members] noticed certain areas weren't being taken care of on a regular basis."

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The committee voted to use fundraising dollars to fund the vacant position for a year in order to get the service workers back on the streets, he said.

"We decided it was a very important program to continue," said committee member Joe Mandoky.

To generate revenue for the maintenance program, the city is now offering the property cleanup and maintenance for private property owners for a fee.

In the two months since the program restarted, Neighborhood Services officials and committee members have spread the word about the new private services. Workers will remove weeds and debris, trim trees and shrubs and empty stagnant pools, among other services.

A significant source of referrals has been the division's own code enforcement officers, who notify residents of violations like overgrown lawns or debris piles in the street.

City officials have also contacted local banks to clean up foreclosed properties across Glendale.

"The idea isn't to send nasty letters, but to figure out what the problem is and help them," Mandoky said.

Get in touch

For more information, contact program specialist Julio Hernandez at (818) 548-2125 or juliohernandez@ ci.glendale.ca.us.

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