City Appearance

How we look matters.  Part of getting new businesses and families to come to Middletown is to present a clean, neat appearance throughout the city when they arrive.  I’ll say it again because it’s that important… How we look matters.

The I-75 interchange is our gateway into the City.  If we want to develop the East End, it starts with a pleasing, tidy appearance as you come off the highway.  We started that process with the ODOT improvements last year.  I’m not satisfied with the end results, however, and I’ve asked Public Works to look at ways to further enhance the appearance at the interchange.  If we intend to send the message that things are changing in Middletown, one of the best ways is to demonstrate those changes visually, not just to talk about them.  I hope to have our interchange looking sharp by the end of 2016.

While attending a city manager conference last year, one city had what I would call a “Transform Middletown” crew that worked each summer on appearance details in the city.  The concept was pretty straight forward.  You assemble a seasonal crew with a public works leader.  Their job is to clean and tidy Middletown.  If it is bent, straighten it. If it is rusted, replace it. If it is faded, replace it. If it has peeling paint, scrape it and  paint it.  If it has weeds, pull them.  If it needs mulch, mulch it.  If it is no longer necessary, remove it. If it has trash, pick it up.  Pay attention to details. I am working with Public Works to try this concept this summer.  In theory, once some of these items are cleaned up along the major roads in town, the crew would move into the parks and then eventually into the neighborhoods.  If it works well this year, we’ll continue the process and keep cleaning the city and paying attention to the details that would make our city more attractive every day.

I’ve asked Chief Muterspaw to look at bringing back the prisoner clean up crews that we used to use to clean trash in the parks.  We are in the planning stages of how often we might be able to utilize those resources, but I would like to see some use of them this summer if possible.

In 2015 Code Enforcement staff completed 687 Commercial Code Enforcement Inspections, resolving 393 of them by year end.  They completed 1,634 Residential Code Enforcement Inspections, resolving 1,274 by year end.  They completed 4,112 Nuisance Inspections, resolving 3,763 of them by year end.  Code enforcement staff will out this spring working to make the city a cleaner, nicer place to live.  I added an additional $150,000 to the 2016 for abatement of nuisances.  We work with homeowners and businesses across the city to voluntarily take care of their property violations.  We will continue that practice, but for those who will not make needed repairs, we will start abating the nuisance for you in 2016.  If we are going to clean up the entire city, then at some point, we actually have to clean up, with or without the property owner’s assistance.  If we are going to have attractive neighborhoods and improve property values, every house on your street and every business is going to have to do their part.  That includes your government.  We have to do a better job of keeping our buildings in compliance as well.  We’ll all struggle through this one together.  The end result is worth the struggle.

Code enforcement and attention to detail will also involve removing junk motor vehicles from the city.  As we move through neighborhoods and strive to clean up the city, automobiles that are either inoperable or not properly registered will be removed if the owner does not take care of the issues.   The MPD task forces will not only be cracking down on drug activity in the city this spring, but they will also be taking action on any illegal activity in the area where they are currently working.  If you receive a warning sticker on your car and you fail to take action, it will be towed after the statutory period to allow you to correct the problem.

Finally, how we look is about details, all the way down to how city vehicles look on the road.  We are looking to update over time our vehicle appearance.  If we show you that your government can change, hopefully others will start to take  pride in their city and join us for the cause.  Below is our first update to a Public Works vehicle.  You should see it out in the city very soon, and we will be updating vehicles as we purchase new and do repair work on the older vehicles.

We’re going to be working hard to clean and tidy up the city this year.  Let us know how we’re doing and feel free to point out areas that need attention.  It may take us a while to get everywhere, but extra sets of eyes are a great help to find remaining problems.  We welcome  your help.

Have a great day!

Public Works truck





6 thoughts on “City Appearance

  1. So maybe the city vehicles should get some body damage fixed instead of running around town looking trashy? I’m all for that. Be sure to use a body shop that is up to city codes, has a paint booth, and is registered with the State of Ohio Board of Motor Vehicle Repairs as a collision shop and not just a mechanics shop.


  2. Yes, yes, yes, yes!!!! 🙂 Keep improving and making our city beautiful! I take pride in Middletown and I am excited to see things going UP more and more all the time. 🙂


  3. How do I report a trashy neighbor.? I live on a very nice street, Victoria Avenue ( the end near the school.) I keep my yard clean and neat. Neighbors don’t seem to feel the same . I live on a dead end, my street is short, there are five houses. The house across the street has parked in front of their house, 2 cars, a box truck, a trailer and a trash truck that has been parked there for months. It looks like little Kentucky! The house next door is empty, yet there has been a car parked half way up the driveway, across the sidewalk for several months. I want my neighborhood to look nice….this doesn’t and I’m ashamed I live in this area. Please have someone go by this area, and ask them to clean it up! Thank you


  4. This may be bigger than just a clean up job… but can anything be done about the roads in the Amanda area? We are actively involved in our church, Mercy Point, on Rufus St. I travel that road several times weekly. It desperately needs repaved and the street always floods after it rains. I’m sure you’re aware of this issue. Just wondering if it’s on the list?


    • The roads are a longer term problem that we hope to get better dealing with. The Transform Middletown crew will cost us about $35,000 for the summer. One mile of pavement is between $250-500,000 depending on how bad the existing pavement is. Realistically, it will be a few more years before we get there.


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