Fight the Blight: Green Team Summer Workers Community Mapping Project

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 - 8:00am

The media is invited for a showing of the “Fight the Blight: Community Mapping Project” undertaken by the 2016 City of Monroe Green Team summer workers. The project unveiling and demonstration will begin 10 am Wednesday, July 6, 2016, in the City of Monroe Engineering Department conference room, located at 3901 Jackson Street, inside the Monroe City Hall Annex South (CHAS building).

“With leadership and involvement from Keep Monroe Beautiful, our Code Enforcement division and Engineering department, our new initiative has exceeded expectations.  This outstanding team began training  the week of June 6th prior to going out into the field. Since that time, they have surveyed more than 8000 pieces of property in the City of Monroe. The information collected will help multiple city departments deal with issues such as blight, public safety and flood & drainage issues.  Though small in stature, the work done by   the

Green Team will pay big dividends in our Fight the Blight effort!” – Mayor Jamie Mayo said. QUICK FACTS:

  1. The Green Team is a group of high school and college age summer workers who participate in a variety of beautification projects. Their projects include landscaping, litter abatement, revitalization efforts and more. The Green Team initiative became part of the Monroe’s summer youth worker program after Mayor Jamie Mayo learned about a similar program while attending a conference several years ago.  This year, we have three crews of Green Team workers working at the zoo, city golf courses, and our Community Mapping Project.
  2. The Community Mapping Project involves a walk-through survey of parcels of land within Monroe neighborhoods. Those involved began training the week of June 6, 2016. The work crew of eight (8) summer workers, led by Keep Monroe Beautiful Executive Director Gregg Smith and Code Enforcement Officer Hubert Murphy, utilize a geo-mapping software known as ARC/GIS on city issued smartphones. Daryl Platt and John Ferguson from the City of Monroe Engineering department are coordinating the data collection aspect. This software allows the city to capture information about where blighted property is located. The data collected on these smartphones is relayed back to a computer system in the City of Monroe Engineering department. This will provide the city with a cache of where blighted property is and who owns it. This data will help speed up the process warning or citation to compliance with Code Enforcement and Environmental Court.
  3. More than 8000 properties have been surveyed in City Council Districts 3, 4, and 5. These are the primary areas of concern in regard to blighted properties. Data points at this time are showing occupied houses, vacant houses and vacant lots. Points related to blight will be coded in once the entire survey is complete.
  4. During the July 6th demonstration, crews will conduct surveying in the  Lamyville area of District 3.  This neighborhood and parts of the Garden District (which are both in District 3) are all that remain before fieldwork for this summ er 2016 initiative is complete.

Keep Monroe Beautiful Executive Director Gregg Smith adds, “Residents have been understandably curious; and, some even leery when they see the students coming through and snapping photos. But, once the project is explained, the people have received it enthusiastically. Many now look forward to the hopeful removal of structures they say have been in disrepair for way too long.”