Yonkers downtown business group doing more street cleaning

A Yonkers business group has boosted its efforts to keep downtown’s streets and sidewalks cleaner.

Members of the Yonkers Downtown/Waterfront Business Improvement District celebrated their two new maintenance vehicles Tuesday at an event marking the group’s new branding and revamped website.

One of the new vehicles looks like a golf cart outfitted with a giant vacuum cleaner. It was put into service earlier this year and it turned heads.

“When we first took it out people asked what the hell is that thing,” said Jaime Martinez, the downtown BID’s executive director.

Martinez said the contraption is a Tennant all-terrain litter vacuum that cost about $17,500. The vehicle has a capacity of 100 pounds of trash and it easily fits on sidewalks and narrow alleys.

“Essentially is goes at the speed of six people,” said Martinez of the vehicle’s trash sweeping.

The other vehicle is a Polaris GEM electric car that looks like a golf cart with a rear flatbed and it will also be used for maintenance and cleaning.

The BID is a nonprofit group created in 2002 to build partnerships, encourage investment and support commercial initiatives downtown.

The group is funded through a special tax on property owners in the district.

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