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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Harris County
City of Houston Department of Neighborhoods
News Release
Saturday, September 28, 2013

Houston Mayor Annise Parker kicked off the City’s third Make Safe Saturday today at the site of a blighted abandoned property at 9504 East Avenue I in Manchester.  The mayor was joined for a press conference by City Council Member District I James Rodriguez, Manchester and Magnolia Park/Pineview Place civic leaders and neighborhood residents.  

Launched in March 2013, Make Safe Saturday targets properties with city code violations for which the owners have received notices and have failed to take action to correct the problems. 

“Getting dangerous buildings approved for demolition is not an easy legal process,” said Mayor Parker.  “Our Make Safe Saturdays are an option for those buildings that pose a public hazard yet do not meet the criteria for demolition.  Fifty-nine properties in seven council districts will be taken care of today.  When we clean up and secure dangerous buildings, we are making our neighborhoods safer and improving the quality of life for residents.”

Crews with the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) Inspections & Public Service (IPS) division cleaned the blighted lot and secured the abandoned house at the site.  The property is one of 59 dangerous properties in 22 zip codes targeted this quarter.  

In conjunction with Make Safe Saturday, IPS conducted three neighborhood improvement projects in Magnolia Park/Pineview Place.  Project activities included cleanup and mulching on the esplanade along the 7700 to 8800 blocks of East Navigation Boulevard and de-littering on Avenue B from 71st Street to 75th Street.  City crews also removed heavy trash and debris from a bus yard at 900 78th Street, which has been the site of illegal dumping.

Assisting with the projects were volunteers with the Magnolia Park/Pineview Place Civic Club, Manchester Civic Club, Families 4 Better Communities, Greater East End Management District, East End Collaborative, Keep Houston Beautiful and Compassionate Houston.  Corporate support was provided by Alloy Carbide Company.

Make Safe Saturday is an initiative of DON IPS sponsored in partnership with other city departments and neighborhood groups.  The beautification and cleanup projects are part of the division’s Clean Neighborhoods Campaign, sponsored by DON in collaboration with BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions (BARC), Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD), Houston Police Department (HPD), Public Works & Engineering Department (PWE) and Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD). 

To learn about the programs and services of DON IPS, visit www.houstontx.gov/ips or call 832.394.0600.  For information about the participating departments, visit the following websites:  BARC, www.houstontx.gov/barc; HPARD, www.houstontx.gov/parks; HPD, www.houstonpolice.org; PWE, www.publicworks.houstontx.gov; SWM, www.houstonsolidwaste.org




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