The Downtown Development District has formed a Downtown Maintenance Committee to help eliminate eyesores around the area, such as trash dumpsters on sidewalks and weeds and potholes in surface parking lots.

The committee was announced at Tuesday’s DDD meeting. Davis Rhorer, executive director of the DDD, said the committee was formed after a challenge was issued by Richard Manship, president of WBRZ-TV.

Manship, the former president and CEO of Capital City Press, which used to own The Advocate, showed photos of a number of eyesores he saw downtown, such as spraypaint on sidewalks and plastic sandbags holding down stop signs. He said this doesn’t go along with Baton Rouge being poised to have a great looking downtown because of the promising developments in the works.

“We’ve got to do better guys. It’s just a shame. It’s a shame. Y’all have worked too hard to allow it to look like this,” Manship said.

Rhorer said city ordinances make downtown property owners responsible for how the front of their buildings look. The DDD will start directly contacting property owners and telling them about problems with how their properties look, he said.

Because visitors to downtown generally have to park a few blocks from their destination, Rhorer said it’s important that the walk experience is a good one.