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home : news : news Friday, June 24, 2016

10/6/2012 Email this articlePrint this article 
Pitch made for neighborhood clean-up program in DeWitt

By Kate Howes
Staff writer

At their meeting Monday night, members of the DeWitt city council agreed an idea to start a local neighborhood clean-up program is well-worth looking into.

At the request of a local resident, city administrator Steve Lindner asked the council about the potential for establishing a "DeWitt Delivers Clean Neighborhoods Program."

While Lindner says residents always have done a good job keeping their properties clean and well-maintained and the city generally is clean, trash still ends up in the streets, on lawns and on public property.

Calling upon willing and able volunteers to help stay on top of the problem and keep the town looking its best is something other area cities are doing, Lindner relates.

Some communities have programs specific to cleaning certain areas, such as parks, while other programs are all-encompassing, targeting any and all areas of cities and towns.

Although there would be a number of details to be worked out prior to putting such a program in place, Lindner says he would like to investigate the proposal a little further.

"(This kind of program) is a real thing that other cities do," Lindner told council members. "I think the end result would be well-worth our while - the city's and the volunteers'."

He explained the program would be fairly simple. Volunteers, who would be required to be 18 years of age or older and have adequate driving records, would fill out an application.

Those who meet the requirements would then be assigned a general area and given a flexible schedule in which they can perform their clean-up duties. Volunteers also would be briefed on general procedures and safety precautions.

The city would partner with volunteers, providing them garbage bags, gloves, rakes, brooms, dust pans, reflective jerseys/vests and any other necessary materials as well as a designated location as to where trash should be deposited.

Lindner says volunteers also would fill out time sheets to be reimbursed for approved expenses and for use of their personal vehicles, and also would be asked to keep track of their mileage.

City council member Kurt Ketelsen suggested volunteers be asked to provide proof of insurance should they use their personal vehicles to clean up.

Lindner says there still are a number of details to be worked out and there will need to be someone to manage the program.

"We'll need to have a combination of a system of checks and balances as well as common sense," he notes of overseeing the program.

Lindner says he will look into the specifics of setting up such a program and report back to the council.

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