Clean downtown: New waste areas for pets in Harlingen

HARLINGEN —Downtown Harlingen is known for hosting Art Night the last Friday of the month, multiple antique shops and now, monitoring pet owners.

The Downtown Improvement District Board used a public improvement grant to add six different pet waste stations.

“We started to see a lot of more people bringing their dogs and walking them in our area especially since the Baxter lofts,” Downtown Director, Alexis Alaniz said.

“A lot of the residents go and take their dog walking and do their little business, from the maintenance point we noticed there was a lot of pet waste and looked into addressing it,” she said.

The purpose of the stations are to maintain the cleanliness of the downtown area as well as make it easier for the maintenance staff. Approval for the stations occurred a couple of months ago in November and were set up Jan. 7.

All six of them are placed every other block on Jackson St. Alaniz said it is where most pets can be seen.

“We don’t see so much on the other side of our district, on Van Buren. It is mostly on Jackson since we have most of our events there,” she said.

The board spent $1,100 dollars for the waste areas. Alaniz said people and the community have responded positively to the new addition.

“They think it’s a great idea, since we do have most of our events on Jackson. We want to provide them with an extra way to clean up after themselves and maintain and keep Harlingen Beautiful,” Alaniz said.

On the other hand, Alaniz mentioned there has been negative feedback as well.

“They say people don’t clean up and why we are putting that, they say it is a waste of money. But we feel like we want to make sure we can provide this available resource, for people to enjoy their furry friends,” she said.

The director added the staff is trying to make Downtown Harlingen a destination for leisure and fun which is why these resources are added.

“It is also a great way for people to come and shop small. People come and walk their dogs and don’t know about new coffee shops or places and we just wanted to provide this for them,” Alaniz said.