JACKSONVILLE, Fl. -- Jacksonville city leaders are saying enough is enough. In an effort to fight the blight around town, they've created Operation Urban Blight. So far crews have collected enough trash to fill a football field two-feet deep, and more than 3,400 tires.
The 24-month operation began in October. Jim Robinson, the Director of Public Works says Thursday at the emergency operation center, the group met for their weekly operational meeting. He says right now the Northwest side is where crews are focused, and next on the list is the Mandarin area.
"The problems are more intense in the center and less intense as you go out either east or west, north or south," said Robinson.
He says crews are making their rounds throughout the city, looking for illegal dumping and checking vacant city lots. They're also keeping an eye out for code violations. Robinson says if you're caught "trashing" the city get ready for a fine ranging from $50 to $350.
"I think it's pretty simple, don't throw trash on the ground," said E. Denise Lee, Councilwoman District 8.
Lee formed the Urban Blight Committee. She says $1 million has been added to the budget to address blight, it's a serious crackdown and you'll soon begin to see billboards throughout the city. Members of the Neighborhoods Department are also handing out information about keeping the community clean.
"If you see people not governing themselves accordingly then I think you should turn them in," said Lee.
To help keep your neighborhood clean you're encouraged to report any illegal dumping or blight. Call 904-630-CITY.
Staring March 1 a new division will be added to the Public Works Department, called Mowing and Landscape.