Library exterior has many caretakers

I would like to know who is responsible for keeping the sidewalks around public buildings swept and clean. My main concern is the Medford public library. I go there at least once a week and have been appalled by the leaves, litter and debris on the walkways.

— Susan W., via email

Susan, several agencies pitch in to try to keep the exterior of the Medford library looking spic and span.

Medford Urban Renewal Agency is responsible for maintaining the library's Riverside Avenue parking lot, and the library relies on Overstreet Landscaping of Eagle Point to maintain its rose garden, trees and the grassy area on the south side of the building. Overstreet Landscaping also has been tasked with clearing away the leaves, said Jackson County Library Business Manager Lisa Garcia.

The library's day porter performs regular trash sweeps, and Jackson County maintenance crews pressure-wash the walkways around the library once a year.

"Every branch manager is quick to report not only problems inside but also outside," Garcia said. "I receive three or four requests a year to have leaves blown or trees pruned."

"I think we take pretty darn good care of our libraries," she added.

Medford Public Works Director Cory Crebbin said sidewalk upkeep falls on the building owner, and that goes for public buildings, too. Medford's Parks and Recreation Department handles facility maintenance for most city buildings, he said, adding that the city puts safety ahead of cleanliness.

"If we get a complaint about an unsafe sidewalk, we go and inspect it and send them a letter just like everybody else," he said.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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