Committee strives to make city more beautiful for holidays
by Courtney Stevens
Dec 08, 2013 | 1175 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With the temperature dropping and winter weather underway, battling leaves and rubbish in streets was topic of discussion at the Mosquito/Litter Control meeting on Wednesday.

Ray Bell, director of Cleveland Public Works, mentioned his main goal was to keep up with the leaves.

"I have two sweepers and two leaf machines and we ask home owners not to blow their leaves into the curb lines because we have enough out there already," said Bell.

The sweepers one every day in an attempt to get leaves up and clear the streets.

Public Works can be seen around town scooping fallen leaves and debris from the storm drains to keep streets from flooding.

Public Works will also remove limbs that are four feet long or less from homes if they are stacked up by the street.

The Resourceful Environmental Services will also haul away any leaves that are bagged and placed out with resident's garbage.

By taking care of yards and collecting fallen leaves, residents can help to ensure streets aren't flooded after heavy rainfall and can also avoid any sort of fines for a code violation.

According to the Anti-Litter Ordinance Section 3, "No person shall throw or deposit litter in or upon any street, sidewalk or other public place within the City except in public receptacles, in authorized private receptacles for collection, or in official City dumps."

According to the ordinance, litter is considered "garbage, refuse, and rubbish as defined herein and all other waste material which, if thrown or deposited as herein prohibited, tends to create a danger to public health, safety, and welfare."

With rubbish being in the definition, it might be beneficial to understand rubbish is "solid wastes consisting of both combustible and non-combustible wastes, such as paper, wrappings, cigarettes, cardboard, tin cans, yard clippings, leaves, wood, glass, bedding, crockery and similar materials."

This definition includes grass, lawn clippings, sticks, branches, and any other things found in a yard.

Therefore, according to this ordinance, it is a code violation to toss lawn clippings into the street.

If the codes are violated then, according to the ordinances, there is a fine of up to $100 and possible jail time.

The discussion of cars still being parked in front yards was brought up and the committee decided it would be beneficial if the pressure was placed on the property owners rather than renters.

At November's meeting city officials were in attendance and it was there that Billy Trodder explained to the committee that code violators are given a violation letter and one day to fix their violation.

Notices had been previously placed on cars but they will now be placed on homes.

"A lot of you might have seen notices on cars. These are violation letters and we give them one day to remove the car from the yard. If they don't remove the car then we come back and write a citation and contact the property owner, if it's a rental property, and notify them that it is a violation since they are in charge of the property," said Trodder during November's meeting.

Cars can be parked in yards under certain conditions. They have to be parked on a hard surface and cannot be parked in the front yard on grass. A hard surface can be gravel or concrete but the gravel has to be packed.

"If you're going to take pride in your property then everyone will take pride in their property," said Steve Horton, director of RES.

"Not that Cleveland is bad or getting bad, but we don't want it to get that way. We have to keep pushing forward," said committee member Pete Peden.

"A lot of people see this committee and other committees as a nuisance but it's really not. It's what is keeping Cleveland so viable and the communities outside of Cleveland are striving to be like us and we need to strive to be better than we are today and this is what it will take," added Horton.

By following the proper codes and ordinances, these simple tasks can quickly make Cleveland more beautiful and the job of the public works much easier.