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West Side Gets Clean-Sweep

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – The Save Our Streets Task Force conducted the first "clean sweep" of a West Side neighborhood in Buffalo Wednesday.

It's an effort to eliminate problem properties and improve the quality of life in city neighborhoods.

The first "Clean Sweep" was conducted along West Avenue.

Buffalo Mayor Masiello said the task force went door-to-door meeting with residents. The Mayor said there were a number of complaints about West Avenue homes.

"We're not going to tolerate people who denigrate our neighborhoods," said Masiello. "Those who sell drugs, or letting homes and vacant property go down?we're going to have this team effort again, again and again."

Housing, fire code and other violations were uncovered. Some natural gas leaks and several illegal cable hook ups were also discovered.

Robert Stasio, with the Buffalo Fire Prevention Bureau, said neighbors were cooperative. The bureau installed more than twenty smoke detectors in homes.

"They were very receptive of having us come in to give them fire safety inspection, or batteries and smoke detectors to help them out," said Stasio.

The city is conducting the program with the help of federal, state and county resources. U.S. Attorney Michael Battle said he was pleased to be able to assist.

"There was a lot of cooperation across the board from all agencies and there's a ton of cooperation from people in the neighborhood," said Battle. "I think when the rest of Buffalo hears about this they're going to say, hey, come to our neighborhood and help us out."

Despite recent city layoffs, the Mayor said they will continue to conduct the sweeps in other neighborhoods.

Masiello would not reveal streets, but said the next round should take place in the North and Niagara districts.