As the month of September came to an end, the City of Newburgh conducted a Quality of Life Sweep on Lutheran Street, which flooded this centrally located section of the City with concentrated enforcement efforts across the board. The initiative not only cleaned up the street itself, but also helped to build partnerships throughout the community.
Lutheran Street encompasses 35 individual parcels of land with 33 structures. There is one vacant lot that City staff expect to be occupied before the end of the year. The Quality of Life Sweep on Lutheran was a City-wide effort, with all departments adding to the overall success of the initiative. Collaboration across all City departments began months prior to the event itself. From start to finish, more than 20 staff from the City of Newburgh were present during the initiative.
Lutheran Street is located north of Broadway in a section of the City known for robberies, aggravated assaults, and other serious criminal activity. In addition to being the focal point for the Quality of Life initiative, Lutheran is also included in the Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) program, which is a State initiative intended to reduce gun violence and save lives in communities with high rates of firearm-related violence.
As is the case with nearly all City activities, DPW was available to assist with the overall success of the initiative and help improve the well-being of the block. Residents utilized dumpsters to properly discard more than 145 cubic yards of trash from lots, yards, basements, and backyards.
Prior to the sweep, the dwellings on Lutheran did not have any rental registry or vacancy registry licenses on file. As a result, registration forms were distributed. Three buildings were found to have serious life-safety issues relating to gas and carbon monoxide. Two of those landlords made attempts to immediately fix the issues and have the Codes Department re-inspect. Two buildings were found to have illegal and unsafe apartments in the basements, and one building was subject to an existing condemnation but had been re-occupied. Following the sweep, that property owner submitted an application to make the necessary repairs.
In addition, multiple departments gained entry to several buildings to identify the presence of lead service lines and schedule the necessary upgrades when applicable. In preparation for the sweep, the Water Department evaluated and repainted all fire hydrants located on Lutheran and made a handful of upgrades to several water meters in the area.
Engineering staff welcomed residents to watch as they operated a robotic sewer camera truck to film and analyze sewer mains. They found multiple collapses and breaks within the sewer system, which they will work to repair in the coming weeks.
Before the sweep, Central Hudson replaced all outdated street lights, ensuring all were converted to LED bulbs prior to the sweep taking place. During the sweep, Central Hudson gave away more than 100 LED lightbulbs in an effort to help residents swap out exterior porch bulbs for more efficient versions.
Throughout the duration of the event, City staff provided refreshments and literature on City programs, initiatives, and resources available to residents. The 9-day event ended with a police-sponsored community BBQ.