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NYC To Spend $32 Million To Reduce Rat Population

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The de Blasio administration is taking on rats.

The city will spend $32 million to reduce the rat population by 70 percent, concentrating on the Grand Concourse area of the Bronx; Chinatown, the East Village and the Lower East Side in Manhattan; and the Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant areas of Brooklyn.

"It doesn't matter what community you're in, everyone wants to get rid of rats," de blasio said Wednesday. "I will admit personally to having a certain admiration for 'pizza rat,' but that's the only rat I have ever managed to like."

The Sanitation Department will replace wire trash cans with rat-proof solar compactors and steel cans.

The city also plans to cement basement floors in public housing.

Proposed legislation would regulate the hours garbage could be left at the curb, and increase fines for illegal dumping.

Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia also encouraged New Yorkers to rat out their messy neighbors.

"If you help us catch someone illegally dumping and they are fined for that, you have a right to a portion of that fine," Garcia said.

In February, health officials said one person had died and two others were severely sickened in the Bronx due to a rare disease transmitted by rats.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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