City Council President Sabina Matos (Ward 15) will introduce a resolution at tonight’s City Council meeting calling on the City Solicitor’s office to reconvene the Providence Nuisance Task Force. The Task Force was initially established to identify and address nuisance properties in the City systematically and collaboratively and has been dormant due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“We must address quality of life issues in our City, even as we are dealing with the continued economic crisis due to the ongoing pandemic,” stated City Council President Sabina Matos. “We have to address the issues that our residents are bringing to our attention every day. The Council Office has received hundreds of calls from residents expressing their concerns about the increase in nuisance properties, illegal dumping, overgrown vacant parcels, rat infestations, all of which has been exasperated by the furloughs in our Department of Public works.”
The Nuisance Task Force is comprised of representatives from the City Solicitor’s office, the Police Department, the Fire Department, the Department of Inspection and Standards, and the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office. They are tasked with resolving current and long-standing nuisance properties throughout the City to protect the health and well-being of residents.
Council President Matos continued, “We have an obligation to our residents to ensure their health, well-being, and that we are addressing these neighborhood issues and concerns head-on. Reconvening the task force will go a long way to addressing some of these more pressing issues.”
In addition to this resolution, Council President Matos and President Pro Tempore Michael Correia (Ward 6) will be introducing a resolution requesting the Department of Public Works to increase street-sweeping efforts across the City.
“Our streets are a mess, and we have the ability to do more street sweeping than we currently are,” stated City Council President Pro Tempore Michael Correia. “Due to the reduced workforce in the Department of Public Works, we have falling behind on our efforts to maintain our streets.”
There has been a noticeable increase in trash and rodent activity on City streets due to the lack of more frequent sweeping. Failure to sweep the City’s streets also poses a significant threat to the environment as the accumulated dirt and debris, and other contaminants can be washed from the streets directly into neighborhood waterways creating water pollution not just for the City but the State.
The resolution requests that the Department of Public Works immediately begin street-sweeping efforts throughout the City and, if necessary, hire a third-party contractor to help expedite the process of sweeping every City street.