Partnership will work on city’s Kaighn Avenue

CAMDEN — A partnership among various groups in the city and businesses and residents along Kaighn Avenue met during a meeting held Jan. 25, sponsored by Camden Churches Organized for People (CCOP), to explain to the public plans for the cleanup of the avenue.

“This partnership will send out cleanup crews to major sections of Kaighn Avenue between Broadway and Haddon Avenue,” said Pastor Willie Anderson of Sword of the Spirit Christian Center. “The city doesn’t have crews or the capacity to handle Kaighn. We’ll send out three teams three to four times a week.”

Included in this cleanup are residents who live on Kaighn Avenue and business people who work on the street.

The meeting was held at the Sword of the Spirit Christian Center on Kaighn Avenue and was opened to the public to announce the partnership among Sword of the Spirit Christian Center’s CCOP Local Organizing Committee, Kaighn Avenue Collaborative Enterprises (KACE), St. Bartholomew Parish, and The Greater Camden Partnership’s Clean and Safe Streets Program.

“In the past just major business corridors in the city were earmarked for cleaning,” Rev. Anderson explained, “but Kaighn was never included. It was pointed out very definitely that Kaighn is a major business corridor.”

A Kaighn streetscape was done by the partners and they created grids to handle the cleanup. However, there is one area that can’t be handled by the cleanup crews.

“They can only handle the street and sidewalks,” Rev. Anderson noted, “but not the vacant lots. We’re not allowed to touch them. Why? We’re dealing with ownership questions. The lots ultimately fall into the hands of the public works department. As a result some CCOP teams will meet with public works to see what can be done since public works doesn’t have the manpower to handle all these lots.”

Kaighn Avenue is also a county road and is subject to flooding during heavy rains.

“The street needs milling and repaving to help solve this problem,” Rev. Anderson said.

He explained that in 2005 Pennoni and Associates engineers in Camden conducted a study of Kaighn at the insistence of KACE and CCOP. A plan for the refurbishing of Kaighn was outlined with milling and repaving an essential part of the plan.

“The CCOP teams are ready and willing and waiting to hear what’s going to happen,” Rev. Anderson said.

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