Germantown street-cleaning efforts expected to start before GSSD relaunch

Not waiting until the revamped Germantown Special Services District moves from concept to reality in July, Northwest Philadelphia elected officials are in the process of organizing at least two street-cleaning initiatives.

Since the 2011 shutdown of GSSD, many local business owners have been particularly vocal about the amount of trash that blows around the neighborhood’s business district.

“We have to take some initiative to get the ball rolling so this doesn’t fall by the way side,” said state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, whose office hosted a meeting Wednesday night with Germantown business owners to discuss any and all concerns.

Adopt-a-few-blocks

During the event, Kinsey announced that Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity has adopted a stretch of Germantown Avenue between Walnut Lane and Ashmead Street.

Volunteers will clean the area at least once a month, said Kinsey, an active member of the group.

Kinsey and Eighth District City Councilwoman Cindy Bass are also working to secure funds for potentially two residents to perform more regular cleanups.

State Sens. Shirley Kitchen and LeAnna Washington and state Rep. Rosita Youngblood may also work on the initiative. Representatives from those offices also participated in Wednesday’s discussion.

“They’ll just help beautify,” said Kinsey.

Other discussion points

Wednesday’s meeting, which drew about 20 business owners, also touched on the need for a Germantown business-district marketing plan.

Connie Swinson, who heads G’Town Restoration CDC, told attendees that her organization would explore possibilities.

Kinsey said his office is also looking to help create a fundraiser geared towards promoting Germantown businesses. Proceeds would possibly support the GSSD or be used to help pay street cleaners before the program gets back off the ground, he said.

Business leaders will continue the conversation with elected officials on May 30 at 6 p.m. The event will be held at Treasures on the Avenue, 5549 Germantown Ave.

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