Litter Is Costing The City More Time And Money - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Litter Is Costing The City More Time And Money

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Trash might be the first thing you notice when you're driving into Wichita Falls.

The access roads off of I-44 and other areas of the city are filled with plastic bags that are clinging on to branches. There's cups, bottles, food and even boxes just laying on the side of the road. Assistant City Manager Kevin Hugman says this trashy problem could keep businesses from setting up shop in town and it could impact the growth of our city.

"If you have a lot of litter along your streets then that's definitely going to create a bad impression for maybe a tourist or a visitor who might be looking to relocate to Wichita Falls and we don't want to create that negative impression," said Hugman.

But there's an even bigger problem. Hugman says keeping the city clean will now become more difficult and expensive because both the state and the city are dealing with budget cuts.

"This coming spring we're actually taking on more of the roadway mowing and trash pick up from the state because budgets have been cut. That's an added cost to the city to try to address some of those areas where the state has cut back," said the city leader.

That's why this year the city will be investing about $170,000 in beautification efforts. That will cover the hiring of five new employees that will pick up large litter items as they mow the new areas the city is now in charge of. But Hugman says keeping the city clean is not just the city's responsibility.

"If someone litters and throws trash out of a vehicle that's a traffic violation that the police department would handle but as you can imagine it's very difficult to catch someone doing that," said Hugman.

The city, Keep Wichita Falls Beautiful and Be Clean and Green Wichita Falls are calling all residents of all ages to lend a hand in the "Let's Keep Wichita Falls Beautiful!"

This event is a city-wide cleanup scheduled for this Saturday, April 66th.  Everyone who is participating will meet at the Lucy Park Pavilion between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to pick up trash bags and review a list of roadways and lots throughout the city that needs cleaning.

Rachel Brown, member of Keep Wichita Falls Beautiful said, "This is a great way for families, organizations and caring individuals to show their pride in the beauty of our City."

Brown also said, "A proud city is a clean city and a clean city is good for business growth, economic development and tourism. Help us to make this the biggest one-day cleanup in the history of Wichita Falls. Any assistance is greatly appreciated."

For additional information and to pre-register please contact Rachel Brown at 940-569-0090 or by email at brown.rachel82@yahoo.com.

Volunteers should wear jeans, gloves, boots, and a bright colored shirt.

 

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6