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Long Beach's Clean Team effort brings cleaner streets and new flower beds

Long Beach officials want city residents to stop and notice the flowers.

City workers are cleaning up streets and improving roadside views as part of a beautification campaign this summer.

The city launched Clean Team this year to focus on sweeping streets, code enforcement, picking up trash, clearing weeds and planting flowers. Flower beds were replanted last week at New York and Park avenues.

There is no additional cost for the effort, city officials said, which includes work done by crews during their regular hours and also by volunteers.

The Clean Team crews include workers from the Department of Public Works, police, the building department, recreation and transportation. This is the first year of the city's beautification campaign.

"It was an idea that the City Council felt was important to help beautify Long Beach and continue in its long-term recovery to make the community better every day," city spokesman Gordon Tepper said.

Workers have completed sweeping on every street in the city -- 340,900 feet of roadways. All streets with gutters were inspected and cleaned by the city's street maintenance division, City Council president Len Torres said.

City workers also cleaned 40 drains and inspected another 150, including along the ocean and on streets leading up to Maryland Avenue.

Crews are also working on sewer maintenance and using a new Vactor truck to clean the storm drains. Sidewalks and trash cans have been power washed on Beech Street in the West End and workers are planning to move east through the city toward the business district and as of last week have reached Magnolia Boulevard, Torres said.

In addition to city crews, about 100 Long Beach volunteers worked over three days from June through August in the East End, West End and downtown area. The volunteers helped plant flowers, clean drains, pick up trash and paint benches in city parks.

As part of the citywide effort, police did not modify any parking regulations to accommodate the street sweeping projects, Tepper said. Some streets already have alternate-side parking rules in place.

Along with the beautification effort, the police department is replacing speed-limit signs after the City Council voted earlier this year to lower the speed limit to 25 mph from 30 mph on residential streets. Workers will begin painting roads and replacing damaged signs from the West End and moving eastward in the coming weeks.

Code enforcement officers with the city's building department also stepped up inspections for violations such as unkempt yards. Along with that work, code enforcement officers have issued 47 violation citations this summer for abandoned or unkempt homes.

"Code enforcement violations are not about punishing people, but to make sure people are maintaining their properties and keeping with the character of the community," Tepper said.

Separate beach cleanup days and volunteer beautification efforts are planned throughout the year. For more information or to volunteer, email cleanteam@longbeachny.com.

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