By Josh Dulaney Staff Writer
Posted: 08/11/2011 04:05:09 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – In the words of an Ernest Hemingway short story, city officials want “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.”

With that goal in mind, the city on Sept.10 will launch a one-day $300,000 citywide beautification effort to tackle 60 cleanup projects throughout town.

“It’s a massive undertaking, but the goal is to advance the image of the community,” said City Manager Charles McNeely.

The objective is to improve visitors’ first impression of the city, spur investment and enhance neighborhoods and businesses.

Projects span the city’s seven wards, and include weed and trash removal, sign replacement, painting and graffiti removal.

One project is the painting of picnic tables and benches in Perris Hill Park at 1001 E. Highland Ave. The city is calling for 250 volunteers to help out there.

Parks are among the most blighted areas in the city – McNeely said they are in desperate need of repair.

Another project is a restoration effort near the 3700 block of North Mountain View Avenue, where it turns into Electric Avenue.

The city is calling for 600 volunteers to help with bark and weed removal, while city workers install sprinklers and landscaping.

McNeely said the beautification project emerged from last year’s three-day retreat that saw elected and appointed officials come together to advance the city’s vision, as well as several recent meetings between staff and the community.

He sees it as an opportunity to improve the city’s partnership with residents.

“We are anticipating we are going to get 5,000 volunteers citywide,” McNeely said.

The City Council has approved spending $45,000 for the project, and McNeely said an additional $25,000 in grant money may come through.

He also hopes that corporate sponsors, nonprofit groups and faith-based organizations will help out with the rest of the cost.

Volunteers may also donate materials to the project.

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