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Up-And-Coming Center City Neighborhood Cleanup Efforts Debated

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - An up-and-coming Center City neighborhood around Callowhill Street, east of Broad, finds itself in a civil war. Residents are at odds over whether to impose a surcharge in order to clean up the streets.

The area between Vine Street and Spring Garden, 8th to Broad Street, is growing in population and City Council is considering whether to create an improvement district to clean up the area.

Bill Curran, a resident, testified at a hearing that the district is sorely needed.

"I am bound to step into a ripped plastic bag containing something unspeakable, maybe trip over a five gallon container of used cooking oil dumped from a neighboring restaurant. Or step on glass from a 40-ounce malt liquor bottle."

But the district would be funded with a 7-percent property tax surcharge for residents within that area to pay for the cleanup.

"This is taxation without representation," said Phil Browndies, a resident opposed to the plan. "It is wrong for City Council to delegate its power to these people who claim to represent a neighborhood, when in fact they represent no one but their own narrow interests."

Council will hold another hearing before a committee vote.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio 1060

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