DOWNTOWN — Mayor Rahm Emanuel acknowledged "a real problem" with rats in the city, but insisted Wednesday his administration is working on "multiple ways we're trying to address this."
In taping an appearance on WLS 890-AM's "Connected to Chicago" program, the mayor admitted requests for rat-baiting are up citywide, adding, "I think it's a real problem because it impacts the quality of life of the people."
According to Emanuel, "there are a couple of things affecting this," and the city is moving to attack those points.
Pet Expert Steve Dale says eliminating dog poop won't curb Chicago's rat problem.
First, he said, is the newly proposed ordinance he's sponsored with Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) calling on property owners to make sure their lots are cleaned of dog dirt daily. Emanuel called "animal feces ... a contributing factor" in the spread of rats, as a source of food. The new ordinance would set fines of $50-$500, same as for dog owners not cleaning up after their pets when walking them.
Emanuel also said the city is doing computer analyses with the Department of Streets and Sanitation to target areas where work is planned on water and sewer repairs, which tend to bring rats out in the open, as with any city construction.
According to Emanuel, Streets & San crews are now working to "go in and do abating before we start the work."
Calling it "preventive work on the front end," Emanuel said, "You go in and do rat abatement before it becomes a real problem."
Emanuel made the remarks in taping an appearance on "Connected to Chicago" with City Hall reporter Bill Cameron. The full interview was scheduled to air at 4 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday.
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