A group of concerned citizens have started cleaning the streets of downtown Chilliwack on Sunday mornings, and have called on the City of Chilliwack for more support.
But the city says revitalizing the downtown core and keeping it tidy has been a priority for years. In collaboration with the Downtown Business Improvement Association (BIA), a dedicated cleaning crew has been assigned to the area since 2014, picking up litter, and cleaning debris and graffiti Monday to Friday.
Harold Zinke, a long-time street cleaner with the BIA, has been an integral part of the BIA’s downtown efforts for 21 years. He and Sarena Myers work tirelessly rain or shine. The City supports them by washing doorways, picking up abandoned furniture and answering any calls for messes too large or too dangerous for their team.
This crew also works with a graffiti specialist as needed and stays in contact with bylaw patrols and the BIA to identify messes on public property. The BIA and bylaw staff work with property owners to address issues on private property and bring them into compliance.
“The BIA was created to work with local government, property owners and local organizations to make a stronger Chilliwack, and we have an excellent relationship with the City of Chilliwack,” said Kyle Williams, Executive Director of the BIA. “Revitalizing and enhancing downtown Chilliwack takes a cooperative effort, and we deeply appreciate the City’s support of our efforts.”
“The City of Chilliwack is absolutely invested in our downtown,” Mayor Ken Popove added. “Crews are on-site throughout the week and respond to calls to collect items from furniture to food and everything in between.”
The City of Chilliwack supports community cleanups in all areas through the Adopt a Road, River, Trail and Park programs. These programs provide residents with supplies and free tipping for collected garbage. The City provides the BIA with the same support, so any community cleanup efforts downtown coordinated by the BIA could make use of these supplies.
“There are over 90 community groups in just our Adopt a Road program who volunteer their time to help us keep our city clean and green,” Popove said. “We are grateful to each of those groups, and all the others, and we are always happy to help when a group reaches out, if possible.”
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