Wilkes-Barre Starts Third Annual ‘Taking it to the Streets’ Campaign

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- The city of Wilkes-Barre started its third annual "Taking it to the Streets" initiative on Wednesday.

"We are taking back the streets from trash, blight, and crime," Mayor Tony George said. "In order to do this, we need the help of our residents."

Members of several city agencies go street by street through Wilkes-Barre looking for violations of the city's "Quality of Life" ordinance. Those people are given citations and could have to pay a fine.

"The first year, we covered over 600 streets," George said. "With that, we did 350 Quality of Life citations or ordinances. In 2017, we gave 260 Quality of Life ordinances, so people are starting to listen."

Two of the things the city is looking for are excessive trash and things that are stored on the outside that should be inside, like appliances.

Newswatch 16 was there when city workers knocked on the door of a home that had a lot of trash outside of it. The woman inside didn't want to give us her name.

She told us it was trash day and began cleaning up the mess. She went on to say that some of the trash on her property did not belong to her.

"That's basically all I can do is tell my landlord, because it's ridiculous," the woman said. "I've had cribs, I've had garbage, I've had everything just thrown into my stuff."

Mayor George said that landlords are not exempt from the citations.

"Normally, (we) cited the tenants," George said. "Now, we cite the tenants and the homeowners, so if somebody's out of town, they're going to get a citation and then they're going to be responsible for their tenants, so they'll come and they'll probably screen their tenants more and be focused on keeping their properties clean."

The city will continue to go through neighborhoods over the next several weeks checking for homes breaking the city's Quality of Life ordinances.

3 comments

  • jsrant

    That is one of W.B. biggest problems, landlords who dont live in the area or state. Landlords should get a more heftier fine. Then maybe they will be more interested in the upkeep of their properties. Maybe?

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