Mesa Targets West-Side Neighborhood For Cleanup

By Mariana Dale
Published: Sunday, April 2, 2017 - 5:05am
(Photo courtesy of city of Mesa)
Mesa targeted this neighborhood by evaluating police and code-violation data.

A map of code violations, graffiti and police calls showed a west Mesa neighborhood near Main Street and Extension Road was in danger of becoming blighted.

“Some just haven’t had the TLC that some of the homes have most likely because of lack of income to be able to do some of those improvements,” said Liz Morales, Mesa Housing and Community Development director.

So the city is targeting the area as a pilot for a program called “Love Your Neighborhood.”

Mesa has existing assistance programs such as “Clean Sweep,” which dispatches giant dumpsters for bulk trash to neighborhoods. But residents can’t use those programs if they don’t know about them in the first place.

“Our goals are really to create a neighborhood that understands what the city can offer,” Morales said.

The city has reached out in English and Spanish by knocking on more than 400 doors, surveys and community meetings. Volunteers have painted a mural, cleaned up yards and taken about 14.5 tons of debris from the neighborhood.

Mesa set aside $417,000 in federal funds for exterior home repairs, landscaping and small-business assistance. Most of that will be distributed to residents in coming months.

“We still have a ways to go in making some of these changes,” Morales said.

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