Mayor Tim Long, left, Parks Director Bill Houk, Commissioner Bob Carlile, Commissioner Larry Koochel, Sanitation Director Frank Holman and Commissioner Dave Harrison display supplies received by the Sanitation Department to be utilized for the Liberal Pride City Wide program. A start-up budget for supplies and cleanup education was set at $43,928, however, Holman was able to cut the dollar amount by nearly $3,000. L&T photo/Jessica Crawford
By JESSICA CRAWFORD
• Leader & Times
The 1-cent sales tax has done it again. Supplies arrived at the Sanitation Department for Liberal Pride City Wide, a clean up effort carefully planned by the Liberal City Commission and City of Liberal staff. A start up cost of approximately $40,000 will be covered by the 1-cent sales tax in hopes of encouraging citizens to take pride in the community.
Sanitation Director Frank Holman said he is looking forward to citizens of the City of Liberal to begin to take pride in their community by utilizing a program that will cost them nothing. He said supplies are available and ready to use.
“I just hope that people will get involved in the areas they are living in and take pride in that area,” he said. “It is going to make a difference in our neighborhoods and our blocks – just one block can make a difference.”
Assistant City Clerk Alicia Hidalgo said she is trying to recruit schools into participating in the programs, as well.
“I have talked to one of the schools already, I have talked to MacArthur, so they are interested,” she said.
With the many programs available under the umbrella of Liberal Pride City Wide, Parks Director Bill Houk is trying hard to put a lot of his effort into the parks aspect of the program.
“I am focusing on ‘Adopt a Park,’” he said. “We have already got Marvin Park who has already taken over Blue Bonnet Park and has been doing it for years. He has kind of been an icon for Blue Bonnet Park because everyday he is picking up trash – he saves a lot of city man-hours. He makes the parks look better.
“Susan Lukwago, I have watched her walk up and down main street picking up trash,” he added. “She is a real icon, too.”
There are many different aspects to the program which require varying degrees of effort so citizens will be able to pick a project that best suits their time they may or may not have available.
“We are going to have the Adopt a Street, Adopt a Block, Adopt a Park, Adopt-A-Litter Container,” Houk said. “Some of it will have to wait until the weather gets better.”
Those participating in Liberal Pride City Wide will receive the appropriate supplies to adequately perform the duties they have taken on.
“What they will get issued is a vest, gloves, trash bags and litter grabbers,” Houk said. “They sign up for one year.”
Houk said anyone interested in helping take pride in the City of Liberal is welcome to participate, even those in surrounding communities who may only work and/or shop in Liberal.
“It’s for regular citizens who want to take pride in the city,” he said. “The community doesn’t end at city limits. The surrounding area, we are all a community.”
Wednesday, 50 trash receptacles were delivered to the Sanitation Department and will be placed throughout the city – available for adoption.
“Some of these will be placed in parks, side streets, the main streets and where people walk,” Houk said. “People don’t just have to go with these trash cans they can go adopt the ones we already have on the walking paths. If someone wants to adopt one of them, then great.”
All programs, Houk said, will require a one-year commitment. However, he said, city staff is still working on a permanent distribution area.
“We are trying to set up a distribution area,” he said. “We have a building that we are looking at. We will probably set up a time and a date so we don’t have to have someone there constantly, so people can pick up what they need.”
Those interested in getting started by participating in Liberal Pride City Wide right away are encouraged to contact Alicia Hidalgo at City Hall at 626-2201 for further information and instructions.