Sunday mornings on Jefferson Street are about to get a lot cleaner, courtesy of a Project Front Yard initiative to pick up trash left in the area by partiers the night before.
The Downtown Lafayette Restaurant and Bar Association, the Downtown Development Authority, The Lemoine Company and Chase Tower have joined forces to pay for a cleanup crew to come every Sunday to pick up cigarette butts, cups and other debris left behind by the Saturday night crowds along Jefferson Street and the surrounding area.
“I think this will be extremely helpful,” said Downtown Development Authority CEO Nathan Norris. “An out-of-towner often judges a city on what its downtown looks like. It’s going to really make a difference, and it’ll really help those businesses that are open on Sundays.”
The cleanup is an outgrowth of Project Front Yard, a beautification initiative launched last year by a coalition of community groups, businesses leaders and local government.
Gus Rezende, who owns the Jefferson Street Pub downtown, said he met with Project Front Yard Coordinator Katherine McCormick about six months ago to discuss littering around the city.
Rezende and McCormick, with the help of area businesses, worked together to craft a plan to clean the streets on Sunday, the one day off for the regular work crews and parish jail inmates who normally clean the streets.
“We thought, ‘Why don’t we, the private sector, take it upon ourselves to get this taken care of?’ ” Rezende said. “Patrons don’t deserve to have a dirty street.”
The cleaning company will arrive on the street at 7 a.m. Sunday.
“We have heard from so many people about wanting a cleaner downtown on Sunday mornings. In response, we worked with willing and generous partners to put together a program that is a win-win for downtown Lafayette businesses and visitors,” McCormick said in announcing the new downtown cleanup detail.