Miles Avenue vacant property cleared

The crew that cleaned the lot at 2640 Miles Avenue, is pictured, along with Sanitation officials and Councilman Jimmy Vacca.

Goodbye rats and vermin.

Neighbors of a vacant Throggs property littered with debris in the tall weeds are breathing a sigh of relief after finally managing to get a cleanup.

The vacant lot, at 2640 Miles Avenue between Davis and Robinson avenues, was recently cleared of garbage and weeds as high as 10-feet-tall, thanks to a crew of workers from Wildcat Service Association, a division of Fedcap.

Wildcat, which helps people with barriers to traditional employment by providing job training, cleaned it up on March 30, and then again on April 12 and 13, said Wildcat project manager Mario LaRosa.

The clean-up, done free-of-charge with workers who are on public assistance, with assistance by the Sanitation Department, was initiated by Councilman Jimmy Vacca, LaRosa said.

“We cannot have a piece of property, next to residential homes, with weeds as tall as 10 feet high,” Vacca said. “For over a year, I received numerous complaints about this piece of land. Neighbors were concerned about the appearance of rodents and garbage as a result of its condition, and something had to be done. I would like to thank Wildcat and DSNY for helping us clean this property.”

Vacca was on hand to personally congratulate the staff of Wildcat and the workers on March 30.

“That particular day, we hauled out 420 bags of garbage, and these were 30 gallon bags,” LaRosa said. “Then we went back to tidy up and hauled out another 60 bags.”

Wildcat frequently assists the elderly with snow removal, and works most often in areas where there has been a large number of foreclosures, LaRosa said.

“Obviously, Councilman Vacca was getting complaints, and when we were there, residents were coming up to us and thanking us, saying that the lot had been that way forever,” LaRosa said.

The vacant lot attracted mice and flies which ultimately made their way onto surrounding properties, said local resident Eli Garcia.

“There are mice in the basement apartment that I rent, and I have insects upstairs,” Garcia said. “I believe that they are coming from the lot.”

The garbage and tall weeds also drew larger rats and raccoons, which have not been seen since the cleanup, Garcia said.

An owner of the property, Marco Marciano, said illegal dumping by a contractor hired by the city for sewer and road work has made the land difficult to clear mechanically.

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