Mayor Purzycki Announces a Beautiful City Initiative to Produce a Cleaner Wilmington

40 Acres Trolley Square.JPG

 Press release provided by The City of Wilmington, DE.

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki said today that a clean City, one in which its main travel thoroughfares as well as its neighborhoods are free of trash and debris, is a City that cares about its image and its future. With that thought in mind, the Mayor today announced Wilmington’s new Beautiful City Initiative (BCI), which is a consistent, sustained effort by City government and the community to clean the City.
 
Mayor Purzycki said the City government will lead the way on this new mission by instituting, with the support and leadership of the employees of the Public Works Department, a beautification program that has not been attempted before in Wilmington. Purzycki said it’s important to create an aesthetically attractive City for citizens and visitors alike. The Mayor said a clean City means we respect our City. Mayor Purzycki offered his thanks today to AFSCME Local 320, the union to which most of the City Public Works employees belong, for their support of the Beautiful City Initiative.
 
“We are rolling out the Beautiful City Initiative in phases beginning now, and we’ll do more next spring after the weather warms,” said Mayor Purzycki. “Once we get into the groove of the government and community working together to keep Wilmington clean, I know this effort will become part of the norm as opposed to being something special. We all need to take pride in our homes, our blocks and our neighborhoods, because everyone appreciates a beautiful City.”
 
The elements of the Beautiful City Initiative include: 
Cleaning the City’s highly visible areas and well-traveled corridors or gateways. On many mornings, Public Works street cleaning staff are cleaning—by hand and machine—the City’s gateways in the early morning hours prior to the morning rush hour. The gateways that are being cleaned before sunrise are Lancaster Avenue, 4th Street, Maryland Avenue, Northeast Boulevard, Church Street, Vandever Avenue, Pennsylvania Avenue, Concord Avenue and MLK Boulevard.


Deploying more hand cleaning crews on neighborhood streets as well as using the city’s water flusher trucks more often. Clean street crews are paying greater attention to areas needing work such as sidewalks, grass, trees and utilities.


Distributing new and free trash bins to approximately 19,500 residential properties throughout the City next spring and requiring that citizens use the new bins instead of placing trash in bags on the sidewalk. The Mayor said the new trash bins, which will be the same size as the City’s recycle bins, can be lifted and emptied mechanically into a trash truck as the recycle bins currently are, improving worker safety for City employees  and adding greater efficiency to the collection process.
 
Offering an education program to help citizens understand the proper disposal methods for trash and recycling. The education effort will also help citizens control the amount of trash they throw away versus the amount of material they recycle. Mayor Purzycki said we have to do a better job of recycling than we do today because it’s less costly and is better for the environment. Wilmington’s current curbside recycling rate is approximately 20% and the Mayor said he wants to raise it to at least 30%.
 
Improved landscaping design and maintenance for public areas such as MLK Boulevard, Northeast Boulevard at 12th Street, 11th Street between Spruce and Church Streets, Concord Avenue and Broom Street, South Market from A Street to Howard Street, D Street at Heald Street and the Delaware Avenue Streetscape.
 
Improving the process for removing dead or injured trees from public rights of way and in parks.
 
Replacing missing or worn street signage through a citywide visual inventory.
 
Repainting crosswalks and stop bars, as well as repainting fire hydrants.
 
Reviving Wilmington’s Adopt-A-Block program, which asks neighborhoods, businesses, organizations and individuals to adopt an area and then agree to clean debris from a block or series of blocks at least every month, weather permitting.
 
Reform the City’s current street sweeping program by exploring the idea of deploying street cleaning trucks in neighborhoods that are in regular need of cleaning versus cleaning only those areas where citizens have requested street cleaning, which is the City’s current practice. Purzycki said it makes more sense for Public Works to use its judgement to clean streets that need more frequent cleaning.
 
Reform the City’s current practice of providing three, free special trash pick-ups to residential properties annually and then charging just $25 for subsequent pick-ups. Mayor Purzycki said the current system is being abused by irresponsible property owners or tenants who dump large volumes of materials on a City street.  Wilmington averages around 9,000 special pick-ups a year, which drains the Public Works budget and pulls the City’s street cleaning crews away from their mission of keeping streets clean. Instead, The Mayor said he will announce a special pick-up reform plan in the near future so Public Works can concentrate on cleaning the City more efficiently.
 
The Mayor said the City will also continue to crack down on those who illegally dump materials on City streets and open areas by working closely with the Wilmington Police Department to identify and arrest perpetrators. 


Mayor Purzycki and Acting Public Works Commissioner Williams said the new Beautiful City Initiative is being implemented within current budget constraints through improved management of people and resources, more strategic deployment of staff, increased communication, sharing of equipment among divisions,  the use of overtime assignments for existing employees and the hiring a limited number of temporary employees.

FREE Appetizers at Cafe Mezzanotte and The Perfect Private Rooms for Your Holiday Party!

cafe mezzanotte

Did you know? One of Wilmington's neighborhood Italian restaurants has received a major makeover! Stop in and see what everyone is raving about!

Sergio Pellegrino, chef, owner and one of the nicest gentleman you'll have the pleasure to meet invites you to experience his authentic Mediterranean Italian fare. A Wilmington staple since 2003, Sergio has been warming the hearts and stomachs of Wilmingtonians and weary travelers for years.

Cafe Mezzanotte

On Wednesday, October 11th, he celebrated a grand-reopening of his renovated restaurant where he humbly thanked devoted fans including Mayor Michael Purzycki and City Council President Hanifa Shabazz for their devoted patronage. The stylish restaurant with emerald walls and industrial lighting now matches the level of prestige of the delicious food. The menu has received a face-lift as well, making guest's favorite staples permanent such as the Cioppino, a seafood arrangement with pasta that is a favorite in Southern Italy. The well adored homemade bread and pasta will remain. 

To celebrate the grand re-opening,  there will be complimentary appetizers during happy hour from 4-7 PM on Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday! Additionally, for the upcoming holiday season, should you purchase a $50 minimum gift certificate, a 20% bonus will be added to the certificate!

If you are looking for the perfect room for your private party look no further. The Milano room (for 20-25 people) and the Roma room (12 people) are both perfect for holiday events and meetings! 

Sergio is looking forward to making you feel right at home. Click here to make your reservation.

Post by Julia Mason of Enthusiasm Lab

 

We Want to Help YOU Prepare for Small Business Saturday!

Small Business Saturday

Hard to believe, but the holidays are right around the corner! What is your business doing to properly prepare? 

Did you know Downtown Visions is here to help grow your business? In addition to all of our business resources, we are huge fans of Small Business Saturday on November 25th. We want to help you have an extra successful Small Business Saturday and encourage locals to #shopsmall.

In order to help you, please send us whatever promotions you will be offering on that day and we will help get the word out!

Simply email LSchweiger@downtownvisions.org the name of your business, the promotion you are offering, how to redeem that particular promotion and what hours you will be open that day. 

Not sure where to start? Here are two additional resources to help you prepare:

American Express FREE Small Business Toolkit

Big Ideas for Small Business Saturday

Post by Julia Mason of Enthusiasm Lab

Dance the Night Away this October at Merchant Bar!

Photo Credit: Onlyinyourstate.com

Photo Credit: Onlyinyourstate.com

We all know that Merchant Bar on Market Street in Wilmington has an incredible atmosphere, delectable (and gorgeous) drinks, as well as an amazing menu. Did you also know it is one of the hottest spots in town to get your groove on? 

These next few weekends, make it a point to stop in! The following events will be taking place: 

  • Saturday 10.7 DJ Zip
  • Friday 10.13 Theme Night
  • Saturday 10.28 Fantasy Night

Headed to a concert at The Queen? Merchant Bar is the perfect place for an after party....it is located right next door! 

To keep up with all of Merchant Bar's upcoming theme nights and dance parties...be sure to follow them on Facebook! 

Photo Credit: VisitWilmington.com

Photo Credit: VisitWilmington.com

City of Wilmington, Delaware State University and the University of Delaware Enter into a Public Policy Partnership

City of Wilmington and university of Delaware enter partnership

The pact pledges mutual assistance and cooperation on projects that will benefit Wilmington and its citizens as well as the universities. 

The City of Wilmington, Delaware State University and the University of Delaware today signed an unprecedented pact that pledges mutual cooperation and assistance on various projects to benefit Wilmington and the residents and businesses which inhabit Delaware’s largest City. The agreement will also provide university students and faculty with new opportunities to participate in applied and practical research and service leading to immediate improvements in the operations of City government.
 
The mutual support agreement was signed today in the Mayor’s office in Wilmington by Mayor Mike Purzycki, City Council President Hanifa Shabazz, Delaware State University President Harry Lee Williams and University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis.
 
The agreement includes a number of ways the City and the two universities can work together, including:

  • Partnering on projects such as fellowships, internships, research projects, studies, and grant applications
  • Assisting the City with data collection and analysis to improve government efficiency and service delivery
  • Utilizing the wide variety of experts from numerous fields that are available at each university to work with the City on a specific project 
  • Expanding the assignment of students as university fellows to the City for specific government projects which allow the students to gain real world government experience
  • Establishing student internship opportunities which will teach young people about Wilmington’s government and foster affection and appreciation for Wilmington among those who will become the leaders of tomorrow.

“We began talking about the potential of this collaborative arrangement earlier this year and it just made sense to many of us that we should harness the talent and resources of these two wonderful universities to work hand-in-hand with the City,” said Mayor Purzycki. “We need to bring about greater government efficiencies and to improve Wilmington’s service delivery to citizens. We have to be more creative and open to new ways of conducting the business of government, and to learn how to operate the government with fewer dollars. The University of Delaware and Delaware State University will help us achieve many of our goals and well as theirs, which includes expanding the educational opportunities available to students.”
 
City Council President Hanifa Shabazz expressed support for the partnership by noting that City Council hosted one of the first Urban Policy Fellows from the University of Delaware, and has continued to work closely with graduate students over the past five years, engaging them in various legislative and policy projects. “If our past collaborations with the University of Delaware and Delaware State University are any indication, I am confident this partnership will bring tremendous value to Wilmington and its residents, businesses and visitors. Delaware is too small for its largest city not to collaborate with its two premier public research universities. I look forward to exploring the many ways we can work with these institutions and others in the future.”
 
UD President Dennis Assanis said the University is committed to partnering with the City and Delaware State University to help address Wilmington’s challenges and expand its opportunities. “The University of Delaware has a long and rich history of applying its knowledge and creativity to local communities across the state,” he said. “This expanded collaboration with Wilmington will bring together talented and dedicated people to develop and implement innovative ways to enhance the physical, social, economic and cultural vitality of the city and its neighborhoods.” Assanis said he is particularly pleased that this partnership will involve students from both universities who will work in the Wilmington city government under the guidance of city officials and university faculty and staff. “The students will add capacity to Wilmington city government and acquire the knowledge and practical experience needed to become future community leaders,” he said.
 
"I'm delighted that two natural partners like Delaware State University and University of Delaware will be working together on a continuous basis to tackle the economic and social challenges of Delaware's largest city,” said Delaware State University President Williams. “The strengths that each partner brings to the table are both complementary and necessary and we expect will be of significant value to the City of Wilmington as well as staff, faculty and students at both institutions."
 
Mayor Purzycki said while there will be a cost to the City for some of the collaborative efforts among the three entities, the agreement will save the City money in the long run. The Mayor said university resources will be available at less expense than what the City pays for contracting with private firms. He said the agreement has the potential to benefit the City and universities well into the future.