Nob Hill business owners are getting some new help in keeping the neighborhood clean.
For the first time ever, the city is expanding the reach of its “Block By Block” downtown mobile clean-up team to Nob Hill.
Those crews have been visible downtown for the last decade, wearing bright-yellow vests and working to sweep up trash, clean graffiti, scrape gum and keep an eye out for problems.
“Keep it clean, keep it safe so customers feel welcomed again,” said Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis.
The city is spending an extra $150,000 this budget year to expand the program.
It comes as many Nob Hill business owners have had a tough time over the last few years.
“It’s no secret, it’s been hard to run a business in Nob Hill over the past couple years between construction and the downturn in the economy,” said Davis. “We’ve been looking for ways to make sure we can help support the businesses who has stuck it out.”
“Cleanliness and orderliness, I think are something that customers appreciate,” said Kurt Oelsner, owner of Chocolate Dude in Nob Hill.
Oelsner’s chocolate making business has stuck it out over the last five years in Nob Hill. He says he’s noticed the litter and trash that people leave behind in the area, at times.
“When there’s trash around and stuff like that it’s unsightly, it impacts customers excitement,” said Oelsner.
The new Nob Hill clean-up crews will be working the areas around businesses and the neighborhood each day.
“They get there just before stores start opening and they clean up the sidewalks, take care of graffiti, empty the trash,” said Davis.
With a cleaner street and more eyes watching out for problems in Nob Hill, the city hopes business will get the boost they need to keep customers sticking around and spending money.
“We want folks to know that Nob Hill is open for business,” said Davis.
With crews working along Central Thursday, Oelsner says the difference is obvious.
“It makes us feel great and it’s really having an impact,” said Oelsner.
The city says the “Block By Block” crews will also serve as area ambassadors, taking questions on directions or giving suggestions for places to eat and shop.