CITY OF NEWBURGH – City officials are planning three “quality of life” sweeps this year in neighborhoods located throughout the east end of Newburgh.
City staff will use the sweeps, funded by state code enforcement grants, to hone in on blight, homelessness, dumping, building code violations, housing and infrastructure quality, and the violent crime that often follows those issues.
Upcoming sweeps will take place on William Street between Renwick and Hasbrouck streets; First Street between City Terrace and Carpenter Avenue; Liberty Street between Farrington and Clinton streets.
Town hall meetings will be held within each of the targeted neighborhoods to keep residents and homeowners informed about what to expect during the sweeps, said City Manager Joe Donat.
The sweeps have not yet been scheduled, Donat said, but should start in about a month.
City staff launched its first set of “quality of life” sweeps last fall in the Lutheran Street neighborhood.
Several city departments spent full days cleaning the area, providing dumpsters for residents wishing to clean out their homes, conducting rental and code enforcement inspections and checking for adequate smoke and carbon monoxide detectors inside residences. The event culminated in a community-wide barbecue.
The City Council approved a measure Monday to update or replace 10 light bulbs in street lamps along Lutheran Street with new LED bulbs. The measure was based on a recommendation from city staff after last year's “quality of life” sweep.
Donat said residents in the area also supported improving lights along Lutheran.
“It will certainly make the block much safer and much brighter,” Donat said at the council meeting.
The areas of interest for this year's sweeps are neighborhoods where violent crimes have recently occurred.
The intersection of Liberty and Clinton streets is the site of an ongoing homicide investigation, where police said on Sept. 21 an 18-year-old man was shot and injured and a 35-year-old man was killed by a stray bullet.
On Oct. 1, a 26-year-old man was shot near Farrington and North Miller streets.
On Oct. 9, a 21-year-old man was shot and injured near Renwick and William streets; two weeks prior to that incident, a 23-year-old man was shot and injured a block north, near Benkard and William.
The same man police have charged with the shooting on Renwick and William streets was charged in a shooting around the same time near Carpenter and First streets.