One of the New Rochelle BID’s most popular initiatives—the BID Clean Streets Program—has become not only a crucial program to keep the retail district clean and attractive for residents and shoppers, but so much more.
The program, jointly sponsored by the BID and the City of New Rochelle, maintains a full time uniformed crew of five employees, a working supervisor, and a deputy supervisor who pick up litter downtown seven days a week helping to keep sidewalks, public spaces, and parking areas clean of debris. The BID crew also undertakes light landscaping responsibilities such as weeding in the summer and, in the fall, leaf removal. During the warm weather months, several weekday mornings are dedicated to power washing downtown sidewalks and the stairwells at the Church-Division parking facility. They also keep crosswalks, storm drains and fire hydrants free of snow in the winter.
John Fortes Sweeping Memorial Plaza
Complementing the BID Clean Streets initiative is the BID Beautification Program which installs and professionally maintains colorful seasonal plantings in 50 planters and 85 tree wells downtown. Plantings at Memorial Plaza and at the entrances to Church Division Street are also installed and maintained by the BID working with Frank Bulfamante and Sons, a New Rochelle landscaping firm which won the RFP for this popular program and who recently donated the plantings at Church-Division Garage.
Another less publicized BID goal is to recruit people to work for the BID Clean Streets Program who have been down on their luck and going through some rough times. They may have been incarcerated, or homeless, and as a result have been out of the job market. BID Clean Streets Program gives them a chance to start over and become gainfully employed. Many of our employees are also responsible parents.
Mayrce Cohen, Co-Owner with her husband Lewis, of IB Cohen’s Men’s and Woman’s Clothing Store, a downtown institution, stated: "The guys on the BID Clean Streets team are very conscientious and work very hard. Equally important, they are very responsive to the retail community and helpful to our shoppers and visitors. It’s a great program with great guys."
Working with Exceptional Cleaning Company and Westhab, Inc. crew members for the BID Clean Streets Program are recruited, evaluated, and assisted in addressing problems during their tenure. Watch this short video which features our program:
At work, they are expected to maintain high standards of decorum and work conduct and to operate as a team. Workers who do not hold to these standards are replaced so as not to jeopardize this important program for other team members.
Power Washing in front of Casa Dela Bebe (former Palace) is Carl Johnson with Alfred Burts in the background.
Another BID goal is to help interested Clean Streets employees earn an education and move up the career ladder. Thanks to the generosity ofMonroe College, anyone who works with the Clean Streets Program and qualifies academically can obtain a free college degree.
For example, Dean R., an employee who was hired three years ago, came to the BID unable to find work after a ten year prison term and the loss of several family members. He threw himself into his work and within 18 months rose to become a Deputy Supervisor. Once he qualified to attend Monroe College, he diligently applied himself to getting an education. On June 11, 2011, Dean graduated from Monroe College with an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice and a 3.5 GPA. He is looking to continue his education and eventually seek a job in youth services wishing to help young people avoid the mistakes that detoured his life.
Next time you are downtown, say hello to one of our Clean Streets Crew. They are a friendly and hardworking group.