“One complaint that is often heard about the downtown area of Ocean Beach is how dirty, stained, and smelly the sidewalks are,” the online petition reads.
“The OB Clean & Safe Program, a project of the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association, is looking to change that by applying for funding to provide bi-monthly cleanings of Newport Avenue sidewalks, in addition to installing additional trash bins along the street. Please show your support of cleaner sidewalks and more trash cans in OB by signing this petition.”
“Of course we all want cleaner sidewalks and new trash cans,” said OBMA’s executive director Denny Knox, adding, “What we want, and what we can pay for, are two different things.”
Noting OBMA already cleans the sidewalks as part of the Newport Avenue Maintenance Assessment District, Knox said, “We have approximately $68,000 annually to pay for gardening, daily trash removal, daily sidewalk cleaning, lighting, City oversight, and all kinds of repairs. As you can imagine, that amount of money doesn’t go very far.”
Knox pointed out the City’s requirement to reclaim all the water during sidewalk cleaning “has dramatically upped the cost for sidewalk spray cleaning.” She added, “We used to power wash the sidewalks monthly – and we still heard the same complaints.”
The latest estimate for power cleaning OB’s sidewalks twice monthly would cost from $28,800 to $36,000 per year.
“You can see how that just can’t happen out of our annual budget,” Knox said, adding, “A lot of additional funds would need to be raised to do extra cleaning.”
Continued Knox: “The same goes for replacing our trash cans, and getting a few more would be another fundraising effort. It’s a very long process to apply for a grant, get approved, and receive the funds. We do apply for grants during the year, but there is a lot of competition.”