Wilkes-Barre, PA — The Diamond City Partnership (DCP) officially kicked off its CLEAN & GREEN PROGRAM today. Downtown “stewards,” hired as part of a two-year contract signed with Service Group Incorporated (SGI), will provide cleaning services starting today within a designated area of the Downtown. That initial project area is bounded by the east side of River Street; the west side of Pennsylvania Avenue; up to Union Street, and down to Northampton Street starting November 9. The Clean and Green program is a direct outgrowth of the feedback received at Downtown Visioning Sessions held earlier this year. The concept for this project, known as a Business Improvement District (BID), is not unique to Downtown Wilkes-Barre; BIDs are in operation in hundreds of communities across the United States. What is unique about Downtown Wilkes-Barre’s program is that the funding comes from voluntary contributions from the business community, rather than through the creation of a public authority.
According to DCP Chairman, Tom Lawson, “We particularly wish to thank the many businesses and property owners, both within the Downtown and beyond, whose generous contributions are making the first phase of this project possible. We also want to say that we are continuing to accept contributions toward this effort, which we would like to see expanded within the Downtown.”
The Clean & Green Program contractor, SGI, out of Malvern, Pennsylvania, has over 20 years of combined experience in providing service to business improvement districts, and currently maintains contracts with districts including Washington, DC; Richmond, Virginia; Columbus, Georgia; Madison, Wisconsin; Newark, New Jersey; Trenton, New Jersey; and Springfield, Massachusetts. The scope of work for the Clean & Green Program in Downtown Wilkes-Barre includes, but is not limited to, sweeping and power vacuuming all public sidewalks in the district twice a day; keeping sidewalks free of dirt, trash, and weeds; regular power-washing; graffiti removal; and cleaning the interior and exteriors of all planters, tree wells, and benches. “The Clean & Green Program stewards will also be there to assist residents and visitors in the Downtown – providing directions and other basic information. They will be easily identifiable, in maroon uniforms, and will be there to help us create a positive, friendly first impression of our community,” adds Lawson.
Lawson continues, “Downtown Wilkes-Barre serves the entire region: over 12,000 people work there each weekday, and thousands of others live, attend school, shop or attend events in our Downtown. Because of that, the demands on a Downtown environment are greater than anything that any municipality – here or around the country – should have to address on its own. That’s why Business Improvement Districts were developed, and that is why we are implementing the Clean & Green Program here.”
For more information on the Clean & Green Program or to make a contribution, contact the DCP at (570) 208-9737 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Clean & Green crew operations, contact Mike Baccile at SGI at 1-800-408-5222.
The Diamond City Partnership was formed as a result of a series of Downtown Visioning Sessions hosted earlier this year by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry, the Metropolitan Development Corporation, and the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association. The Diamond City Partnership today includes over 50 representatives from City and area organizations including, but not limited to, representatives of city government, Downtown residents, colleges and universities, places of worship, cultural institutions, businesses and the media. The Partnership was specifically created to implement the six Downtown revitalization strategies that were developed at the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Visioning Sessions. Those six strategies are:
To create a voluntary Business Improvement District
To create a formal, market-driven Downtown development plan
To facilitate new business development and promotion
To create a higher education/Downtown Task Force
To encourage the creation of Downtown Residents’ Associations
To preserve and protect our historic resources