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Mayor Palmieri Completes 15th Quality Of Life Sweep

Gino Geruntino, WIBX

Utica, NY (WIBX) – Mayor Robert Palmieri and his team of city workers have been cleaning up the streets of Utica for 15 weeks now, and people are taking notice.

Each Wednesday, the group walks the streets while picking up litter, cutting brush and cleaning up lawns.

Volunteers are also joining the cause, including Mary Khiemdavanh, the Community Director for Rebuild Mohawk Valley.

“From when we started doing these sweeps in May, I see homeowners actually knowing that we’re out here,” Khiemdavanh said.  “They’re coming out and mowing lawns, picking up the garbage around their house and thanking us for what we do and being appreciative.”

Khiemdavanh also talks with homeowners, assisting them in applying for home preservation assistance. So far she has helped revitalize more than 60 homes in the Hope Six area.

Others, like Hamza Sinanaj want to help in the process. He is a volunteer who joined the sweep this week and says he is glad the program has been implemented.

“I’ve decided to walk with them on this just to see what it’s about,” Sinanaj said. “You know, I see people picking up garbage, I see them cutting up branches, I see them talking to residents… why didn’t they do this 20 years ago?”

Sinanaj says he would like to see the program work, but is afraid that it may be “too little, too late.”

Regardless, Palmeiri and his crew will continue to clean up the streets and issue warnings and citations to violators. To date, the sweeps have covered about 30 miles of Utica’s streets.

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