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Uptown No Longer Worst Manhattan Neighborhood for Rats

By Carolina Pichardo | November 30, 2015 1:41pm
 Uptown is no longer the No. 1 area for rats in Manhattan, the Department of Health said.
Uptown is no longer the No. 1 area for rats in Manhattan, the Department of Health said.
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UPTOWN — Coming in second place has never felt so good. 

Community Board 12 cheered the news that Uptown no longer ranks as having the worst rat problem in Manhattan, members said at a meeting last week.

"I'm happy to announce that we're no longer number one," CB 12 district manager Ebenezer Smith boasted to scattered applause and laughs during the board's full meeting on Nov. 24. "We're now number two."

The Department of Health's rat indexing of the borough put Uptown in the top spot last year, with a whopping 14.65 percent failure rate among all Manhattan community districts. The department ranks district based on measures of active rat signs, such as fresh tracks, droppings, holes and gnaw marks.

Community District 3 — which covers the Lower East Side, East Village and parts of Chinatown — earned the new No. 1 ranking for 2015, the Health Department said.

In recent years, Community District 12 beat out neighborhoods like East Harlem and Chelsea, which have been struggling with similar rat issues. 

The DOH conducted another round of indexing in the district in response to last year's failure rate, providing the community with different cleanup applications and support, a department spokeswoman said. The result was a decrease of the rat-indexing rate to 10.63 percent. 

"Our findings indicate that when communities are regularly monitored," the spokeswoman said, "property owners keep up the efforts to maintain clean and pest-free properties."

Although it's still a work in progress for Uptown, Smith said he's going to continue updating the community on its progress.  

"We need more garbage pickups during the week," a resident said during the public session at last week's meeting. "We have garbage on the streets and rats."