Blighted properties continue to be a problem in some Springfield neighborhoods

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The group Concerned Citizens for Springfield is trying to clean up the city. They’re tired of litter scattered along streets and homes being unkempt. 

Russell Ceelig of the Concerned Citizens for Springfield told 22News, “You see an old tire.  You see a lot of debris there.” 

“Everyone has to be responsible for that,” said Mary Ann Maloney, also of the organization. 

Members of the Concerned Citizens for Springfield worry the city’s littering problem is getting worse. In pictures, they point out problem areas in the city. Blighted homes, overgrowth along busy highways entering Springfield, and what they worry is a disregard for enforcement. 

“Over the last few years we think there’s been a diminished effort to keep the public places clean,” said Ceelig. 

Over the summer, they took their concerns to a Springfield City Council meeting. Since then, they said they’ve been working closely with the council’s maintenance and development subcommittee, in an effort to find solutions to the city’s blight and littering problem. 

They plan to meet again next week. 

Maloney added, “That’s the first thing we’re going to do.  We want them to start fining people who aren’t cleaning up in front of their properties.” 

They also want to be proactive. Members of the Concerned Citizens are in the process of developing an anti-littering campaign with the city’s school district. Their hope is to teach young people community pride. 

“I just think that people get used to seeing litter lying around and they get used to it,” said Maloney. “They’re blind to it.” 

A public hearing is happening next Wednesday, November 20, at Springfield City Hall. It begins at 5 p.m. 

Concerned Citizens is hoping the public comes with litter and blight examples, and they are urging city department heads to attend as well, so they can hear about this issue first-hand. 

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