With the NCAA coming to town, the city has been planning to put its best foot forward. It’s a process that has been going on for a year, and one that continues this week right up to the games.
“Sweeping and cleaning throughout the downtown. We did a trash cleanup this weekend over at Naftzger Park,” says Troy Houtman with the Wichita Park and Recreation Department. “We did pruning and cleaning up Naftzger Park. We worked with Intrust Arena, and we did some extra mulching and some extra cleaning all around Intrust.”
Houtman says it’s a combo effort with different departments, Downtown Wichita, and other groups.
“Just all the kinds of things we can do to make a quick impact and have like a facelift for the downtown area,” explains Houtman.
Joe Pajor, Deputy Director of Public Works, says his department has been hard at it as well.
“Some of the work that we do to keep the community presentable has to be done on an ongoing basis because it just needs to be (over time) re-done. So, things like graffiti are covered over, street sweeping, sidewalk sweeping, those are ongoing activities,” says Pajor. “There’s no question that you’re going to be doing the cleaning and the maintenance on an ongoing basis, but just like your home, if you’re having company over you’re going to make sure that you’ve got everything in order to receive guests.”
Both Pajor and Houtman say the activities will continue all week. But, some things will just remain as ongoing maintenance.
“When you have a major outdoor event, like this NCAA in town, you make sure the work crews are on top of their game,” says Pajor. “This is our chance to make a good impression, and we are going to do just that.”
Some of the other activities that have been done include mulching around trees in Naftzger Park, and power washing the bridge under the railroad on Douglas to get rid of pigeon roosts.
The city says they it will be taking feedback on any areas that still need improvement or any places where graffiti may show up this week.