BID to make Springfield Ave. cleaner

Photo by Joe Ungaro
Kenneth Allen, who owns Arizona Landscape and Design, demonstrates the Madvac LP61-G street cleaning tool in a parking lot behind Springfield Avenue in Irvington.

Springfield Avenue is about to get a lot cleaner.

The business owners behind the Irvington Springfield Avenue Business Improvement District got together and purchased a Madvac LP61-G portable litter vacuum.

The device, which is transported in the back of a pick up truck, is essentially a very large vacuum cleaner capable of sucking up all sorts of trash including glass bottles, cans, leaves, brush and all sorts of other roadside trash.

The Irvington Springfield Avenue Business Improvement District (ISABID), which covers the thoroughfare from Maplewood to Newark and a few side streets including Clinton and Nye, spent $26,000 on the device and another $4,000 for a truck to carry it.

Kenneth Allen, who owns Arizona Landscape and Design and has a contract with the organization to maintain the appearance of the area, will operate the device for the BID.

“We decided to upgrade to this so he could cover more ground in a shorter amount of time,” said David Biagini, a member of the ISABID.

The LP61-G is described by its manufacturer, Madvac, as “the ideal unit for hard-to-reach soiled areas such as windblown trash at landfill and transfer station fence lines, parking lots, parks, cycling trails and industrial sites. This machine is compact, lightweight, and easy to use. Available either skid mount or trailer mount, the LP61-G is 5 times more efficient than manual litter picking.”

Allen, who also takes care of landscaping and snow removal for the BID, recently demonstrated how the machine works and described how he will use it.

“One guy will blow the litter off the sidewalk (with a leaf blower) and another will pick it up with this,” Allen said, holding up the hose that emanates from the truck mounted base and can be maneuvered around for maximum efficiency.

Kevin Boykins, a member of the Irvington Chamber of Commerce who was at the demonstration, said he’s seen this type of equipment in action.

“I was down in New Orleans and they had one,” Boykins said.

The Irvington Springfield Avenue Business Improvement District was formed in 1998. Approximately 283 businesses and 200 commercial property owners comprise the ISABID, which is funded by an annual tax on its commercial properties. No residential taxpayer revenues fund the ISABID.

The ISABID’s program priorities are beautification, security, marketing and special events, and direct support for its members and the community at-large.

The beautification programs include daily maintenance to remove litter conducted by Arizona Landscaping now enhanced by the Madvac portable litter vacuum; maintenance of the ISABID’s town clock at the intersection of Springfield Avenue, Nye Avenue, and Stuyvesant Avenue; and graffiti removal.

Special events include an annual free Photos with Santa event, which will be held on Dec. 6 this year, summer sidewalk sales, and co-sponsorship of the annual Tri-Community (Irvington, East Orange, and Orange) Commercial and Residential Development Seminar, a Photos & Vino Soiree, and a Holiday Business Mixer.

Marketing initiatives include a website and social media platforms, free shoppers’ tote bags, and the annual holiday decorations display along Springfield Avenue. This year the ISABID is spending more than $50,000 to fund the display.

Security initiatives include funding of the Irvington Police Department kiosk at Irvington Center and matching grants to ISABID members for installation of security cameras.

Direct member support includes matching grants for property improvements undertaken by ISABID members as well as for installation of security cameras.
Community support includes an annual $2,000 scholarship to a vocational school for an Irvington High School senior, a free Thanksgiving lunch for Irvington senior citizens, and various civic donations throughout the year.

The ISABID is administered by a volunteer Board of Directors and paid staff provided by FirsTEAManagement. Dr. Thomas Panitch is the ISABID president. The Board is composed of business people in the ISABID and two representatives from the township administration and township council.