Cleanup campaign part of Globe urban renewal efforts

The City of Globe is in the midst of a campaign to try to beautify the Highway 60 corridor that began on March 24 and will run for two months through May 24.

The US 60 Clean and Beautiful Campaign is intended to encourage local businesses along the highway to clean up the exteriors of buildings and meet or stay in compliance with city code, “hoping to appeal to your civic pride to help Globe be the best it can be,” according to a flier announcing the effort.

“Highway 60 is our front door,” Globe City Manager Paul Jepson said. “We’re highlighting our requirement to keep the public right-of-way up. If you want a beautiful city and a professional looking business, there has to be effort. The Clean and Beautiful campaign gets everybody talking about the idea.”

Code compliance efforts have increased since Jepson took over as city manager two years ago with the hiring of Code Enforcement Specialist Michelle Yerkovich, who has been reaching out to local businesses to encourage them to clean up, paint, or replace broken windows and other blight around their buildings.

“There never was code enforcement but I found the funds in the budget,” Jepson said. “Michelle is more carrot than stick. The goal is to get people to respond and get the city cleaned up.”

Yerkovich has worked with several businesses in the area and the results of her efforts can be seen at many locations in historic downtown that now have fresh paint and clean sidewalks. Her efforts are backed by Globe City Code, Article 10-4, that addresses “property maintenance and public nuisances.”

Violations she looks for include, but are not limited to, junk vehicles, accumulation of trash, rubbish, debris, weeds, outdoor storage, dilapidated structures and “anything else that may affect the quality of life within the boundaries of the city.”

“I was raised to support local businesses and we were always taught to spend $1 more if we could buy something at a local business even if it was $1 less at Walmart,” Yerkovich said. “I try to work with business owners to make it as easy for them as possible.”

Yerkovich said that often when a business starts to look run-down it is not because the owner does not care or wants to be a bad citizen.

“They’re regular people and have things going on in their lives such as sick family members or illnesses of their own,” she said.

When a building needs new paint, Yerkovich refers them to the city’s Historic Preservation Commission, a council-appointed five-member, board with a goal of keeping the look of each building within the parameters of the era in which it was built.

The Globe Historic District was formed in 1991 by a city resolution and seeks to maintain the historic feel of a city that has been at the center of much of Arizona’s colorful past. It is also a means to economic development, expanding opportunities for the region to be more attractive to visitors.

The Preservation Commission has created a palette of colors that match the era of any of the older buildings downtown and when one of them needs to be repainted Yerkovich connects the business owner with the commission for painting alternatives.

“We want the colors to be historic, but not clash with your neighbor,” she said. “We want continuity, but not to interfere with individuality.”

Local attorney JoNell Brantley is a member of the Preservation Commission, as well as the Globe Downtown Association, and sees the Historic District as a boon to the community in many ways.

“As a representative of the DTA, we meet whenever someone asks for a building permit and help them follow the rules,” Brantley said. “It’s their building, but we try to help them. The city has adopted a historic color palette, so we look at the history of the building and if it was built in 1913, we make recommendations on whether it needs improvement or not.”

Brantley was part of a group in 1987 that incorporated the DTA, modeled on the Main Street America Program, to stop the razing of historic buildings in the downtown core. The first building saved was the historic courthouse, which is now the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts.

“I’ve been working on this project 20- to 30 years. It was an uphill battle at the time,” she said. “We’ve had city councils that were supportive and ones that didn’t get it. The current council ‘gets it.’”

The Globe DTA is funded through the city’s bed tax and works for the economic development of the downtown area.

So for the next month or so, the city will be on the lookout for common code violations, which include, lack of maintenance on the exterior structure (paint); lack of sign maintenance (paint, deterioration, lighting); broken windows and fences; graffiti; excess vegetation; inoperable vehicles (flat tires, no registration); debris and litter, and garbage.

“The time is just right,” Jepson said. “It’s all about economic development. People are coming to Globe and falling in love. First impressions last.

For more information about the efforts, contact Yerkovich at [email protected], or 928-200-1552

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