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Our Opinion: Cleaning our home

June 12, 2001

A civic-minded Northend businessman, recently interviewed for our upcoming business-to-business publication, said one of his desires is for the Imperial Valley to clean itself up in order for it to be more appealing to developers.

We agree.

Those of us who live here know the Imperial Valley can be a lovely place. We also know it can be an ugly place, often because people don't take care of or pride in their properties.

That is why we supported the city of El Centro when it started a nuisance abatement ordinance to clean up the city and present a better image. The ordinance targets sites that are either potential health hazards or eyesores.

Eyesores can be just as damaging to a city as health hazards because they tear at the heart of a neighborhood, because everyone around the hell hole has to look at it every day. And as we all know, if one house in a neighborhood starts slipping into quagmire status, others often follow. Then, before anyone expected, a whole neighborhood is ruined.

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We have seen what the crews have done in El Centro to clean sites that property owners refused to fix. The results have been wonderful, and the best part is the bill goes to the disinterested property owner. The property owner usually has been forewarned that the mess will be cleaned by those working for the city if it is not addressed by the property owner.

We are encouraged that the cities of Westmorland and Imperial are considering their own nuisance abatement ordinances. Imperial has many gleaming new subdivisions, and one lot that goes sour could bring down a pricey new neighborhood. And while many of its older neighborhoods are in good condition, there are spots that could use sprucing.

Westmorland is not growing as Imperial is, and some of its older neighborhoods and business areas need attention immediately. Others would soon if such an ordinance were not implemented.

Cleaning up our Valley is a good idea. We should all do it voluntarily. Some people refuse to cooperate. That is when such ordinances are needed.

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