Trash buildup in Fresno’s Chinatown prompts move to contract out the cleanup

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FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Fresno City Council is set to vote on whether or not to award a $250,000 contract of taxpayer money to an outside vendor to clean up Fresno’s Chinatown – but some argue that its work the city could do itself.

The item is scheduled for Thursday’s city council meeting.

Fresno City Council President Miguel Arias says the city is not doing it fast enough and the trash problem is now impacting Chinatown businesses. Arias is also moving to bypass the standard bidding process, due to the ongoing state of emergency, and contract the work out to Olympic Property Services – a company owned by political analyst Jim Verros, who has made a number of appearances on KSEE24.

Arias says politics has nothing to do with the decision.

“The reason the vendor was selected was that he is already the vendor for high-speed rail,” said Arias. “It makes sense to hire the same contractor who is cleaning up the parcel across the street to clean up the sidewalk on this side of the street. Because when that doesn’t happen, the pile of garbage continues to grow higher and higher.”

If approved, the company would pick up trash around Chinatown weekly and power wash the sidewalks in front of businesses every month. Arias says it’s a two-year deal, with a six-month pilot.

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