Council OKs Plan for City Beautification

Saying upkeep of their aging city's trees, streets and gutters has been delayed far too long, members the City Council have approved a $2.87-million "Community Beautification Plan."

The two-year plan calls for pruning palm trees on all public rights of way, replanting the 300 empty tree wells in the city and renovating the landscaping in several street medians across the city.

There are also plans to fix 625 of the most severely buckled and damaged sidewalks.

Officials say there are 2,100 sidewalks damaged by city-owned trees, and about 800 are considered severely damaged.

Additionally, the council voted Monday night to spend $950,000 to treat 40 miles of city roadway with a protective coating known as slurry seal.

City officials say the beautification plan, to be administered through the Public Works Department, will be coordinated with the desires of the city's five neighborhood community councils.

The street and landscaping needs in the Midtown and Avenue areas of the city alone would use up all the money, city officials say.

But city officials and community activists in both neighborhoods are considering establishing new redevelopment areas and other options to help fund the neighborhoods' street and landscaping needs.

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