City seeks volunteers for environmental task force

City seeks volunteers for environmental task force

PAWTUCKET - Building on its expanded efforts last year, officials are seeking to add volunteers for the Pawtucket Environmental Task Force to bring greater focus and faster response to property maintenance violations and other quality of life issues.

Shaun Logue, director of Zoning and Code Enforcement, said volunteers are being recruited to look for potential environmental and housing violations in the Fairlawn and Woodlawn neighborhoods. Anyone wanting to volunteer can contact the zoning by calling 401-728-0500, ext. 347, or emailing

Officials say they are taking a proactive approach to violations.

"One of our inspectors will be going up and down every street in those neighborhoods looking for outward signs of property maintenance neglect that may need correction," said Logue. "We're looking for things that affect the quality of life in the neighborhood."

Logue said he will be speaking on the program at Thursday's meeting of the Fairlawn Against Crime Team (F.A.C.T.) at the Smithfield Avenue Congregational Church Hall, 514 Smithfield Ave., at 6 p.m. He noted that the Woodlawn Neighborhood Association, which does not meet this month, will carry news of the volunteer effort in its July newsletter.

"The volunteers were our eyes and ears in the neighborhoods when we stepped up our code enforcement efforts last year in Woodlawn and Fairlawn," he said. "They will get basic instruction in what to look for and then work to provide information that our minimum housing inspectors can follow up on in a more formal way."

Last year the first phase of the Fairlawn effort alone resulted in more than 300 properties receiving notice of violations, also including for junk, debris, overgrowth, wood piles and uncovered garbage containers, among others, said Logue. He said last year's task force work and initiatives like the "E-rat" program using computer software to track rodent problems have had very positive results and hopefully will continue to reduce violations over time. He said the volunteer assistance remains key.

"Their passion for their neighborhoods definitely made a difference and hopefully inspires others to take similar pride in their community," he said.

The task force will begin work on July 28. Volunteers will carry visible identification. Each Friday they will turn in their lists for Zoning Department staff to review for scheduled follow-up by housing and environmental inspectors, who alone can issue citations to Pawtucket Housing Court.