Residents want to clean up area behind businesses

August 05, 1994|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,Sun Staff Writer

Kathy Battles thinks Mount Airy is a beautiful town. She enjoys living in her century-old home on Baker Street.

But she's not so crazy about the view.

Baker Street residents look out on overgrown weeds, discarded cardboard boxes and abandoned cars.

Armed with grass clippers and garbage bags, Baker Street residents will take part in a neighborhood cleanup Aug. 13.

The project begins at 10 a.m. and lasts until the job is done.

The driving force behind the effort is Ms. Battles, who collected ,, neighborhood signatures on a petition and presented it to Mayor Gerry Johnson.

Her neighbors supported her idea but warned her not to expect too much, Ms. Battles said.

"All the neighbors told me, 'We agree with you, but don't expect anything to be done,' " she said.

But some gentle pressure on Town Hall got results.

"I found I had to call periodically to push it," Ms. Battles said.

Mayor Johnson responded by asking Denise Borisky to help organize a community cleanup of the area.

Ms. Borisky had volunteered to help the town organize projects to help students meet their community service requirements for high school graduation.

She is hoping to sign up middle and high school students for the cleanup.

Mr. Johnson said of the area near Baker Street, "It doesn't look good."

"Some of the property owners just don't take responsibility for cleaning it up the way it should be cleaned up. I hope we can get things cleaned up enough so it won't be a detriment to the community."

The neighborhood sits behind a group of businesses on Main Street. Some of the property owners throw cardboard boxes and other trash behind their properties, in an area visible to the Baker Street residents.

The town has asked the businesses to clean up the properties, but the response hasn't been encouraging.

"They say, 'We'll do it,' then it sort of slips their mind," Mr. Johnson said.

He said the town has not attempted to fine the property owners.

"The intent is to get it cleaned up with as little fuss as possible," he said.

Anyone interested in volunteering to help with the community cleanup should call Ms. Borisky at (410) 549-9413.

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