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Report of June 5, 2021, by Alan Bunker, Chairperson

An in-person meeting (and blended with WebEx) of the Safe/Clean/Beautiful Committee at the 3CDC office generated these notes…

The police reported that a garage operator incurred 13 car break-ins. The ShotSpotter listening devices will be tested on Wednesday, June 2nd at 7:00 p.m. Locations will not be announced for safety reasons. The public will be adequately notified before the event. Although the Taste of Cincinnati has been cancelled for this spring, there might be a smaller version occurring this fall. The recent incidents of cuttings and a shooting at PRVLGD were described. Video of the incidents is available, but there is no help from the victims. A parking lot employee was severely beaten as he affixed notices of unpaid parking fees in the lot proximate to Chalet. He was unable to identify the assailant. The Ohio Liquor Board looks at liquor violations rather than associated incidents of crime as reasons to revoke liquor licenses. A recently opened event center at 815 Race Street has generated some complaints of excessive noise. The venue is a private rental party space. No liquor license is required because there is no sale of liquor. Patrons bring their own alcohol as happens at any rented event space.

Reports from leaders of the downtown sectors ranged from a noticeable drop in panhandling, to an increase in the number of people downtown, and to more places opening again. The requested transfer of a liquor license to a site next to the Main Event on Main Street has generated much concern. In the hope of learning of the concerns or issues in their respective sectors, some sector leaders have been introducing themselves to their neighborhood businesses.

Jacob Edwards was introduced as the new urban forester replacing Robin Hunt. Spring tree planting in downtown has come to an end. Work on clearing interfering branches from connector lines and over sidewalks, as well as maintenance of the tree grates, will begin shortly.

Vaccinations at the library continue as do the construction and renovations of the building.

The 3CDC continues their outreach services and stakeholder meetings. In response to the complaints about vagrancy on Postal Alley near a hotel, improvements were made which included cleaning up the area and installing cameras. The Ambassadors are almost at full staff strength while interviews and hiring continue. “Hot Spots” such as the DORA, Kroger’s, Piatt Park, and Court Street are patrolled for trash pick-up 16 hours per day while Government Square receives the service 24 hours per day. Project Team Ambassadors have been working on more time-consuming projects such as weeding sidewalks and curbs, pressure washing, graffiti removal and alley detailing. The 3CDC will be conducting a Public Realm Inventory of planters, cigarette butt collectors, bus stops, benches, alleys, trash cans, and green spaces.

Homeless shelters are back to pre-COVID operation. Staff will be working with shelter and housing agencies and organizations to refine the data and thus streamline the homeless assistance efforts downtown. A fifth worker was hired for GeneroCity 513.

The Downtown Vibrancy Campaign was featured on TV and social media to support downtown businesses. Events planned through spring and summer includes Street Stage with Arts Wave and the upcoming Court Street Plaza opening.

The next phase of library improvements will begin this spring and go into the summer.

Activities for the DRC’s Clean, Green and Safe Committee included…
Postponing the purchase and planting of flowers in the seven planting pots. Concerns over the structural integrity of the Purple People Bridge (PPB) forced its closing in early May, thus preventing access to the flower pots. If the bridge re-opens by the late spring season, plants will be purchased and planted.

Work on the Path continued in May and into early June. The DRC purchased and planted numerous perennials that will spread and thus minimize one’s view of the cut stumps. Established, shade-loving perennials were transplanted to more suitable areas of the Path since more of the Path has been exposed to the sun. Removal of invasive vines and annual weeds, followed by the application of mulch, was performed and will continue as time and weather permit and thus help to make the area… clean, green and safe!