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Mayor de Blasio announces $750K plan to fight city rat problem

NEW YORK — New York City's mayor is doubling down on the war on rats, pledging three-quarters of a million dollars to fight the scourge.

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio made the announcement Thursday at a park in the Upper West Side. Parents have complained that rats have taken over parks in the area, with some residents saying the animals have attempted to jump into their children's strollers.

The mayor says his administration plans to replace wire trash cans with 29 solar compactors and four solid steel cans at eight playgrounds and parks. City officials say parks enforcement officers also will step up litter patrols.

The additional $750,000 in funding comes after de Blasio rolled out $32 million for a Neighborhood Rat Reduction plan earlier this year.

NYC Councilmember Helen Rosenthal says it will be used at parks and public spots around the Upper West Side. She attended NYC Rat Academy with neighbors and building representatives. The class is sponsored by the NYC Department of Health.