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DBA addresses first of ten steps to improve Downtown

DBA says first concern, cleaning streets of trash
Posted: 6:22 PM, Feb 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-02-09 02:22:54Z

How to get more people and businesses downtown is the question the Bakersfield Downtown Business Association (DBA) is trying to solve.

Earlier this week city officials released a plan for the downtown area to work on. One of those steps is cleaning the streets of trash.

23 ABC talked with local businesses and people about the cleanliness of Downtown Bakersfield's streets.

Shelby Gerber, works at Killer Poke. She said, "There's often trash in the gutters. There's often cigarette butts. Yeah it could use something."

Bakersfield City Councilman for Ward 2, the Downtown Ward, Andrae Gonzales, agrees the streets need extra attention. He said, "We need to create a safe and clean environment. We need to make sure that when people visit downtown they feel comfortable. They walk down the street and it's clean.

Currently the downtown has a pilot program called Street Ambassadors to help clean the downtown street. The DBA's executive director, Cathy Butler, said they're hoping to transition that program into something bigger and more permanent. The next step is educating the local downtown owners.

"In the First of March we will be holding workshops with the property owners to unveil these plans to see what they think and hopefully feel that this is a top priority for downtown," said Butler.

The plan would pool Downtown owners together to have them invest in more people to clean the street of gum, put in and attend to more trash cans and maintain the cleanliness of the downtown streets. After March's workshops it would go to a vote of the Downtown owners. And if a majority vote for it then it would start at the beginning of next year.

Jennifer Johnson is the Padre Hotel's G.M. She said, "There's a strong feeling of support for this right now. And I think as we move closer to the workshops and getting the information out there speaking to more business owners and property owners. I think it's going to keep the momentum going."

Gerber said, "We are interested. We do need more information, you know as to how much it is. You know, what would be involved. What we would need to do personally."

Last week Butler announced the DBA got a new grant for extra cleaning devices to clean the downtown streets and increase their current clean up efforts.