On August 20, at the Bertolet Fishing Dock along the Schuylkill River in West Reading, State Senator Michael A. O'Pake presented a mock check in the amount of $80,000 to Berks County officials as part of the Berks County Graffiti Abatement Program Kickoff event. The check represents funding Senator O'Pake secured in the 2008-2009 state budget to provide ongoing support to the initiative."This state funding allows the county to employ a graffiti abatement manager who can document, respond to, and remove graffiti when citizens, police, or anyone else reports incidents or problem areas," said Senator O'Pake. "This program will improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods, give residents a stake in making their community a better place, and allow them to see that their involvement is making a difference, thereby fostering community pride and more stable neighborhoods throughout Berks County."
Last year, O'Pake used his seniority and leadership position to secure an initial $80,000 state grant to provide the start up and operating funding for the program, which is designed to improve neighborhoods, instill community pride, and deter crime.