The Town of Brookhaven launched a weeklong effort Friday to beautify a portion of Mastic as part of its Operation Clean Sweep program.
Town employees will replace grafitti-laden street and stop signs, fix broken street lamps and pick up litter. The effort targets an area bordered on the north by Patchogue Avenue, on the south by Meadowmere Avenue, east by Mastic Road and west by Floyd Road.
"There is a lot of work to be done, but it is worthwhile work," said Brookhaven Councilman Dan Panico at a news conference Friday in front of resident Joseph Carabott's well-manicured home on Van Buren Street. "We need to give people a lot of hope."
Panico, who represents the area, was joined by Supervisor Mark Lesko, Dave Moran, deputy town attorney and director of the Quality of Life Task Force, and Paul Degen, task force coordinator and the town's assistant chief investigator.
The program is part a broader effort to clean up Mastic, Panico said, where there is a high rate of absentee slum lords and houses that are not up to code.
"This is the only waterfront area [on the South Shore] that has never reached its full potential."
Operation Clean Sweep will target each of the six districts in Brookhaven. So far, in addition to Mastic, the program has been implemented in Rocky Point and Selden.
"We will begin to take our town back through these efforts, community by community," said Lesko.
Photo: Brookhaven's Operation Clean Sweep crew, from left, Quality of Life Task Force coordinator Paul Degen, Supervisor Mark Lesko, Councilman Dan Panico and task force director Dave Moran. (Sept. 9, 2011)