READING, Pa. — Representatives of one district in Reading want to take street cleaning to another level.
During its committee of the whole meeting Monday night, the Reading City Council heard a request from board members of the 18th Wonder Improvement Association to authorize a 12-month pilot for full-time street cleaning for the city's 18th Ward, which includes the Millmont, Oakbrook and Wyomissing Park neighborhoods.
The nonprofit association said a diesel sweeper would cost $259,500, or $12,500 a month to lease, and a hybrid electric sweeper would cost $379,500, or $22,500 a month to lease.
John Masano, one of 18th Wonder's board members, said the city currently runs a street sweeper in the district — which is made up of 32 miles of roads — one day per week.
"We are proposing total saturation, five days a week, eight hours a day," he said. "We appreciate the efforts of the streets department, but one day a week is not going to do the job."
Council President Jeffrey Waltman said sometimes the street sweeper program works against the city.
"We've led people to believe that it's our job to pick up their trash," Waltman said. "The only way I could support this is if it is brought forth through the administration, because there's so much more that goes along with this."
He added, "I'm not opposed to a neighborhood trying to improve itself, but we have to manage in a cost-effective way."
Managing Director Abraham Amoros said the administration will take a look at the request and deliberate on the questions it raises for the city.