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B'ville: Sparkling clean for next season

Goblins, ghosts and witches were recently flying across Baldwinsville storefronts. Now the windows are sparkling, clean and ready to be filled with Thanksgiving displays.

Volunteers from the Baldwinsville Fire Department assisted Optimist Club members in washing the Halloween artwork off the windows of village businesses.

"The window painting requires a great deal of preparation and we need hundreds of volunteer hours," said Susan Ranous, president of the Baldwinsville Optimist Club. "However, as I look at the shining windows, it is gratifying to know that more than 300 elementary students had the opportunity to create their artwork and put it out there for the public to appreciate."

The clean-up crew met at the Cottage Restaurant for breakfast, then headed out to remove the Halloween pictures from the windows. Washing the windows is an assembly line project requiring at least 12 people and an assortment of brushes, scrapers, squeegies and the fire department water tank.

"We purchased this pump engine in 2003," said a fire department volunteer who helped wash the windows. "The spray from the hose is pumped directly from the water truck and is under a great deal of pressure. The engine is able to push 1,250 gallons of water per minute."

First the paint is softened with the powerful hose. Optimists then loosen and scrub the artwork from the glass and the paint is hosed from the windows onto the sidewalk. A second team then squeegies the clean water from the window and the colors are then sprayed away from the sidewalk.

"We appreciate the support that the fire department gives us," said Optimist Don Varn. "We certainly could not clean the windows as effectively or quickly if we had not had their volunteers and the powerful hose."

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