Street Cleanup Grant Request Is Rejected

To the disappointment of local business leaders, the Sunland-Tujunga Chamber of Commerce did not receive grant money from the city of Los Angeles that would have been used to spruce up Commerce Avenue.

In June, chamber officials applied for a $5,000 city grant to beautify the street with new benches and landscaping. The grant application was sent to the city of Los Angeles' Operation Clean Sweep, a Board of Public Works program that removes graffiti and other blight from city streets.

Barbara Hughes, president of the chamber, called the rejection "a little bit disappointing, to say the least. We're trying to rebuild the city."

The chamber was among 36 organizations from the East Valley that applied for Operation Clean Sweep grants, said Delphia Jones, the operation's director.

Jones said all applicants recently were notified of the grants and an official list of recipients will soon be announced through the office of Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan.

A committee of 13 East Valley residents appointed by the City Council and the mayor decided which projects would receive the funds in the region and opted to designate the Tujunga chamber proposal as an alternate, Jones said.

"If one of these projects can't go forward for some reason . . . then we can slot in one of these alternate projects," Jones said.

Operation Clean Sweep is likely to award more grants early next year, and the chamber might have an edge if it decides to reapply because it can revise its proposal, Jones said.

Hughes said the chamber had hoped to spruce up Commerce Avenue in time for the first Old Towne Commerce Street Faire on Oct. 24.

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