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A big thanks to Village cleanup volunteers

Persistence seems to be paying off for those who want to clean up the Village. We all owe those who have put in hours trying to figure all the projects out a big “Thank you.”

The roadwork has been a pain for many, particularly merchants who have had parking places occupied by equipment, portable toilets and just plain holes in the streets.

Late Monday, the word was that the final slurrysealing and restriping is tentatively set for June 29-30.

Signs of progress are evident as this week crews started trimming trees and the city was finalizing contracts for power-washing the sidewalks and installing new hanging baskets.

It’s been a bit of a hassle getting it all done, what with the city enforcing bidding rules for La Jolla Business Improvement District and the advisers trying to figure out the routine. And it’s taken the doggedness of the community’s Streetscape Committee members and Egon Kafka, who owns the La Jolla Village Lodge, to stay on top of all the pieces and even the city’s Small Business Office staff who have done their part to expedite the paperwork.

Kafka challenged the initial bid of $95,000 (for 256 hanging planters), obtained a few months ago by Promote La Jolla board members who were working through what they thought were proper channels. But when they found out they missed a few steps, the city vetted the contracts via a formal request for proposals so everyone bid on the same project. Last week, they learned the bids ranged from $17,467 to $85,649 for 122 new planters and a year’s maintenance. Now it’s just a matter of getting the contract signed before supplies can be ordered.

The ever-persistent Kafka also put in lots of time and effort to get things moving on the trimming of street trees. That work got underway Tuesday.

Credit goes too to Glen Rasmussen who’s working on all of the projects as head of the Streetscape Committee, especially for trying to find a way to help business owners get their storefronts cleaned up when the sidewalks are washed. Stand by for more on that topic.

And a very special thanks goes to Esther Viti, who heads up the Nell Carpenter Beautification/Streetscape Committee. On the second Saturday of each month, you can find her wearing one of her signature hats, directing volunteers “taking it to the streets” as they pick up trash and sweep sidewalks.

It’s volunteers like these who are helping the Village put on a happier face for all of us and our visitors.