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Chambers County employee floats idea about litter

VALLEY — A Valley resident employed by the Chambers County School District spoke to the Valley City Council Monday evening about an idea he has to make the city litter free.

David Bell thanked the council for having a citywide cleanup effort on Saturday, April 6.

“While I personally plan to participate, the unfortunate reality is that trash and debris eliminated on that date will quickly be replaced by more litter unless additional measures are taken,” Bell said.

Bell said that the long-term solution is simple but requires collective action on the part of Valley residents.

It’s a matter of having neighborhood pride, one residence at a time.

Bell suggested forming a committee of Valley residents representing each area of the city.

“It would function basically like a neighborhood watch on litter, where everyone takes ownership of the situation,” Bell said. “Regular meetings could be held for discussion of cleanup or beautification projects involving the residents.”

This initiative, said Bell, would offer an excellent opportunity for younger residents of the city to be active in improving their surroundings.

“A sense of pride evolves from taking responsibility and implementing an effective plan for ultimate achievement,” Bell said.

Bell said that litter gives a bad first impression to visitors.

“As efforts continue to attract new business and industry to our city, potential developers don’t just look at one site,” he said. “They take time to examine the entire area, looking at different aspects such as infrastructure, education and housing. The initial impression of our city is based upon what they see, and cleanliness goes a long way toward projecting a positive image.”

Neighborhoods that did exemplary work in staying litter-free could be recognized as Neighborhood Pride Zones.

“This could be reflected with signage,” Bell said. “A nonresident entering that area would be alerted to the fact that people are watching for litter violators and will report offenders to the proper authorities, just as they would perpetrators of any other crime.”

Bell said he would be putting words into action by launching a campaign in his neighborhood, which is in the Fourth District.

“This is the same district where John Soules Foods will be making a substantial investment to our local economy,” Bell said. “It is my goal to show this company that we are responsible stewards of our own property, as I’m sure they will be of theirs. The motto of the City of Valley is ‘Where People Care and Share.’ It’s time for each of us to care about our surroundings and share in the effort to keep our city beautiful. It starts with one neighborhood setting an example, and before you know it, we’ll be seeing a remarkable difference.”

Bell said that it wasn’t rocket science.

“The more people become involved, the easier it will be to maintain,” Bell said. “I respectfully ask for your support and encouragement of this proposal.”

“We will take this under consideration and study it,” Mayor Leonard Riley said.