Cleaning up West Liberty

Lindsey Jackson · Thursday, March 14, 2013
Bob Cline and Ken Donnelly represented West Liberty’s 175th Anniversary Committee at a recent city council meeting to propose a city-wide clean up. With participation from residents and the city, the committee hopes to help clean-up the area by early July when people from all over start coming to town for the all-school reunion and county fair. Cline presented an outline titled “Operation Clean-up, March 5 - July 1” to council and a slide show of West Liberty properties littered with excessive trash, debris or abandoned vehicles and downtown building fronts that are covered with bare wood and newspapers.

The 175th Committee would like to have a one-time city-wide, free, trash pick-up day, possibly around April 22, which is Earth Day, and an “Amnesty Weekend,” which is when citizens can get rid of appliances, TVs or refrigerators. The committee said they would provide the man-power by employing volunteer locals and Rotary and Lions Club members who would walk alongside a city truck to load the junk. The city would participate by covering the cost of vehicle use, city crew labor and dumping fees at the transfer station.

Mayor Chad Thomas said a similar project completed years ago cost the city about $40,000. He also said last time people from neighboring communities took advantage of the free dumping. He estimated a similar project now would cost $60,000 to $70,000. “Last year around Earth Day we had schools get involved. Basically, groups took trash bags and collected trash around town and city crews came by later to pick it up. Things like that are acheivable. Bigger, pricier things are maybe not going to happen as requested,” Thomas said.

The mayor and committee have agreed to check on the progress of the proposed clean-up at future council meetings. In the mean time, the committee is working with the city and police department to notify property owners of abandoned vehicles, weeds, industrial junk, trash, mattresses, tires and other unsightly items which can be complained about and handled by law enforcement because of city ordinances and state laws.
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