Beautification vital to marketing city

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, April 26, 2014

Vicksburg residents will have several locations in the northern and southern parts of the city to dump trash and old tires during the city’s “Clean Up Vicksburg Day” May 17, city officials said.

The cleanup day, which will run from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., was set at an April 19 meeting to discuss litter and trash problems in the city as a way to get city residents involved in cleaning up the city by providing an opportunity to dispose of trash that normally would not qualify for collection under the city’s solid waste collection contract with Waste Management.

City officials will meet again May 5 to finalize the program’s plans.

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South Ward Alderman Willis Thompson said the citywide cleanup “coincides with the overall effort to keep Vicksburg beautiful.”

“We all agree that Vicksburg is a beautiful city, and I believe it’s up to all of us to keep it beautiful, and we’re going to provide an opportunity for the public to participate and bring your goods out to dispose of them,” he said.

“We talk a whole lot about marketing this city, and I think it’s impossible to do that without beautification,” he said. “It has to be a top priority, and this is a great start, and we’re going to continue doing it and I ask the public to help us keep Vicksburg beautiful.”

North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield said Friday Waste Management will set out eight 30-ton containers— four in the North Ward and four in the South.

In the North Ward, two dumpsters will be at Pittman Street and North Washington, with two others at Warren Central Junior High School. Two dumpsters will be at the Vicksburg Municipal Airport in the South Ward, and the other two will be at the old Vicksburg Cycle parking lot near Blackburn Motors on North Frontage Road. The dumpsters will be delivered before 7 a.m. May 17 and picked up after 3 p.m.

City public works employees, community service workers and volunteers from civic and church organizations will also be out, collecting trash along roadsides and on public property.

Mayfield said city officials are also working with the Warren County Board of Supervisors to get two tandem dump trucks to collect old tires. The truck locations have not been set.

“The county has the waste tire facility out there on County Lane just off the (U.S.) 61 (North) bypass,” he said. “We’re hoping we will have a dump truck at both ends of the city on the south end and the north end, so anyone who has old tires around their house or sees old tires on the side of the road, can pick those tires up and carry them to one of those facilities, where they can be carried out and disposed of properly.”

Besides the tires, people will be allowed to dispose of old appliances and other trash and debris. Chemicals will not be allowed, and any refrigerators or air conditioners delivered to the disposal sites must be free of Freon. A list of prohibited items will be released May 5.

Mayfield said people will not be allowed to go through the containers and collect items to sell for scrap.

“Please do not come to these facilities with the idea you’re going to remove old scrap and things like that,” he said.

Mayfield said police officers will be monitoring the dump sites.

“We want to clean Vicksburg up, that’s what it’s all about. We want to live in a nice, decent, and clean environment,” he said.

While residents are collecting and disposing of trash and debris, Police Chief Walter Armstrong said police will be out tagging abandoned and inoperable cars parked on city streets.

“Not only are they unsightly, but we’re getting calls from people living in those communities who don’t want them,” Armstrong said. “We’re asking everyone with vehicles that are not operating to remove them from the streets. If the vehicles are not running and you have not intention of fixing them, we’re asking you to just get rid of them.”

Once a vehicle is tagged, he said, officers will contact 911 dispatchers, who will put the information about it in the system’s computers. After a vehicle is tagged, the owner has five days to remove it. If the vehicle is not removed after five days, Armstrong said, the car will be towed, regardless if it has a sticker.

“In some instances when we tag them, the owner will come along and remove the sticker, thinking that we won’t have a tracking system,” he said. “But once we identify these vehicles, we’ll call 911 and they’re going to track that vehicle for five days. After that, we’re going to have it towed.”

Anyone interested in participating in the cleanup can call the city’s Action Line at 601- 636-3411, and their names will be forwarded to Mayfield or Thompson, who are coordinating activities for the cleanup.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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