Peekskill considers new ways to improve quality of life for residents

The Peekskill Quality of Life Committee is preparing to submit a report as early as next week to the Common Council with suggestions to tackle littering and overcrowded housing.
City officials said these two issues have been lingering for years.
The "Cleanup Peekskill 2024" initiative will bring higher fines for people caught littering and harsher penalties, including possible criminal charges, for property owners caught violating city law.
At the city's last public meeting, Peekskill City Manager Matthew Alexander said despite some improvements in keeping streets clean last year, there were obvious examples of places for improvement.
"In a matter of minutes or hours a street that had been cleaned became dirty again," he said.
People like well-known Peekskill resident Kazi Oliver said he notices dirty streets wherever he goes.
They need more trash receptacles on almost every corner, but do the people use them? It's easier to throw something on the ground," Oliver said.
It's an issue that even 13-year-old Steven Nageib recognizes.
"Every street there's at least a couple of chip bags or wrappers," he said.
According to the current city charter, littering carries a maximum $150 fine for the first offense, $250 to $500 for a second offense, $500 to $1,000 fine for a third offense, and a $1,000 fine or jail time for every offense beyond that within three years.
"We can make a difference in 2024," Alexander said.
The next Common Council meeting is Monday, Jan. 8 at 7:00 p.m.