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Business district working to clean up camps, crime, illegal dumping

A screenshot of a slide showing illegal dumping in the Sunrise MarketPlace, taken during a May 25 report to the City Council.

By Mike Hazlip—
In a report to the Citrus Heights City Council last month, the executive director of Sunrise MarketPlace outlined efforts to keep the city’s prime commercial corridor free of debris and blight while reducing crime.

In her annual report, Sunrise MarketPlace Executive Director Kathilynn Carpenter said her Property-based Business Improvement District (PBID) was originally formed to fund marketing and special events, but now spends about 38 percent of its budget on security and maintenance. That amounts to about $325,000 annually, Carpenter said.

The private security company hired by SMP logged 620 incidents involving transients, trespassing, camps, and vandalism in 2022, according to the presentation. The second highest category was 160 incidents involving theft prevention, recovery, and assistance, Carpenter said.

“As you can see, we prevent a lot of theft,” Carpenter told the council.

Carpenter, who also serves on the board of directors with Citrus Heights Homeless Assistance Resource Team, drew a distinction between “transients” and “homeless,” calling transients those who are unwilling to seek assistance. She said MarketPlace security and police know “70 to 80″ regulars.

“It’s a big part of what we do but we feel that this allows our consumers and our customers to feel safe,” said Carpenter, referring to the district’s security and maintenance efforts.

A porter service contracted in April last year works to keep the marketplace free of debris, with nearly 200 reports of removing debris such as furniture and mattresses, according to the annual report. Carpenter said illegal dumping is a significant reoccurring problem throughout the district, but particularly near vacant buildings at Sunrise Mall.

The service also picked up or returned 902 shopping carts, removed 474 bags of trash, and removed 141 graffiti tags, Carpenter’s report showed.

“There are dozens, hundreds — I really can’t express the amount of stuff that we have to clean up,” Carpenter said.

The district has pending grants with SMUD and the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) program for installing additional security cameras and lighting in an effort to curb the amount of illegally dumped debris, she said.

“The mall is a very big target for it,” Carpenter said of illegal dumping. “The mall is very good about picking up their own dumped items by the way. We also work closely with Ethan Conrad and his property manager, who I’m happy to report is very responsive.”

MarketPlace security also works with police to remove any homeless camps, Carpenter said.

“We don’t want to be a place where camps can be established,” Carpenter said. “As you have seen on Roseville Road and places downtown or midtown, once they’re established, it’s very difficult, so we just move them immediately.”

Carpenter also highlighted vandalism in the MarketPlace, saying police did a “fabulous job” in tracking down the vandals responsible for twice breaking windows at the Fukumi Ramen restaurant. The Sentinel previously reported the owner of a Roseville-based business that installs commercial windows was arrested in connection with the vandalism.

The MarketPlace has a contract with Lowe’s to purchase and match paint to remove graffiti, Carpenter said.

Most of the MarketPlace’s marketing efforts are focused on social media and some radio spots, Carpenter said. There are also ongoing efforts to engage the more than 400 businesses in the corridor.

Following her report, Vice Mayor Bret Daniels thanked Carpenter for her efforts, calling her a “jewel.” He also credited her with being “directly responsible for the success of Citrus Heights.”

“If there was no PBID, I don’t know,” said Daniels, speculating what the area would be like without the business improvement district’s efforts. “I think it would cause us to look so bad.”

Daniels also noted that the city gets a significant portion of revenue from sales tax, pinning much of that figure on revenue generated by shoppers in the Sunrise MarketPlace.

“We have to make sure that that area stays alive and stays vibrant, it stays a place where people want to come up and spend their dollars,” said Daniels.

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