Bell announces this year's Spring Sweeps effort


For the second straight year, the city of Toledo is joining with local businesses and community agencies to improve the maintenance of homes and commercial buildings.

Mayor Mike Bell on Wednesday, together with directors of the city's inspection, neighborhoods, and public service departments, announced at the East Toledo Family Center the initiative called "Spring Sweeps,” which encourages homeowners to maintain their properties.

Last year, the effort targeted neighborhoods considered tipping points because of high foreclosure rates and building-maintenance issues. City officials also work in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies, who this year made 56 referrals to city departments regarding boarded up houses and other curb appeal issues in East Toledo during their own crime sweep.

The initiative this year begins in East Toledo and will shift to “United North, Broadway Corridor, and Overland Park neighborhoods,” said Chris Zervos, director of inspections for the city of Toledo.

Promotional assistance for the program is provided by the Better Business Bureau; Byrne Paint; area community development corporations; Fred’s Pro Hardware; the Home Builders Association; Keep Toledo Lucas County Beautiful; Lowe’s Home Improvement Center; Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity; Modern Builders Supply; the Professional Remodelers Association, and the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Mr. Zervos said.

Mr. Bell said 8,000 homes would fall under this year's program.

“It is a very aggressive process to make sure people feel good about where they live,” the mayor said.

- Ignazio Messina