“One of the problems is that the city itself does not always take care of its properties (Adelphia and Marting’s buildings, for example)
and neither do other government entities (such as ADAMHS at 802 Chillicothe St.),” Johnson said in an e-mail to an area resident. “If it weren’t for Christ Community Church volunteers cleaning up the Post Office grounds last month, it would still be a mess.”
In response to a letter from Linda Evans, who is critical of the condition of downtown Portsmouth,
Johnson says, “I feel exactly the same way and truly wish I had an answer for the weed problem in downtown Portsmouth. Downtown simply
looks shabby. As I walk along Chillicothe Street, I notice the entrance to a restaurant in the 600 block covered in bird droppings along with a weed- infested sidewalk and wonder why the owners/employees don’t notice the same. I do know that the city has in the past often reminded business and property owners in the downtown of their responsibility to take care of their sidewalk areas.”
In her e-mail to Johnson, Evans mentioned a specific location.
“I think my last straw was to see the planters in the Seventh Street parking lot between Chillicothe and Washington St. have so many weeds that you can not see the shrubs … they are head high and can barely see the cars in the lot.”
Johnson said he has shared her e-mail with Mayor Jane Murray, Council and Main Street Portsmouth.
Murray said she spoke with Services Director Bill Beaumont more than a week ago about the weeds in downtown.
“He told me that on private property it is their responsibility, the business owners, and/or their tenants responsibilities to take care of the weeds. It’s very unsightly,” she said.
Murray said the city has only two people who are licensed to spray herbicides, but Thursday they took care of the city property downtown.
FRANK LEWIS can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232 or firstname.lastname@example.org