City Councilor Lydia Edwards spoke to the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) about a new non-profit structure to augment city services aimed at tackling the neighborhood’s persistent trash issues. Edwards said that in her North End constituent updates, trash cleanup was the #1 cited problem. At issue, said the councilor, is that Boston’s public works resources are spread throughout the entire city, currently leaving only one hokey cleaning part-time in the North End neighborhood.
To supplement city services, Edwards is proposing a voluntary clean streets program run by a local non-profit where money raised would be able to stay in the North End. The concept is inspired by the Downtown Crossing Business Improvement District (BID) where an additional tax is paid by property owners to fund the neighborhood’s extensive daily cleaning efforts.
Using an existing non-profit(s), Edwards envisions a clean streets committee that would determine a voluntary residential and business pay-in rate in a certain geographic area that would hire hokeys to clean that area. For example, each residential unit would be asked to pay a certain monthly fee while a restaurant or business may be expected to pay a different rate depending on specific conditions.
Edwards emphasizes the program would be totally voluntary, but that she already has talked to several committed residents and business owners that are ready to sign up. In addition to hiring hokeys, the clean streets group could outsource street power washing or holiday decorating. She said that the new clean streets program could launch next Spring.
So, what’s a hokey? Check out the public works video below.