WHITLEY CITY —
No one knew what to expect for this weekend’s Community Clean Sweep but as Monday morning dawned, county officials could not have been more pleased.
After learning last month that federal PRIDE funds (traditionally provided through a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant) for the annual Spring Cleanup had been indefinitely delayed, the McCreary County Solid Waste Board opted to transform what would have been the 6th annual Highway 27 Clean Sweep into a community-wide Clean Sweep encouraging citizens to clean up their own neighborhoods.
According to McCreary County Deputy Judge-Executive and PRIDE Coordinator Andrew Powell, at least 170 volunteers picked up 600 bags of trash throughout the four corners of the county. Areas cleaned include: Barren Fork, McCreary County Park, Marsh Creek, Bethel Road/2792, Journey’s End, Tunnel Ridge, KY 741, KY 742, East Appletree Road, Pigskin Road, Catron Road, Peel Dogwood Road, Hoot Owl Holler, US 27, Sargent/Can Man Roads, Beulah Heights, KY 896, Vanover Ridge, Alum Road, North Main Street, Day Ridge Road, Rattlesnake Ridge, West KY 92 and Clark Hollow Road.
[UPDATE: The final Clean Sweep tally involved 204 volunteers picking up 593 bags of trash along 43.6 road miles.]
“Not only are we pleased with the turnout but this change has allowed cleanup of more road miles,” McCreary County Judge-Executive Doug Stephens said.
In addition to residents taking part, the 10 groups who are participating in the fundraising Litter Abatement program also turned out for the cleanup.
County officials are also encouraged by the 75 who attended the Movie in the Park event as thanks for participating in the Clean Sweep. The solid waste board partnered with the park as well as the McCreary County Public Library for the free event.
“We’ve gotten requests to continue the movies…have themes like Scary Movie Night,” Powell said.
For now, officials are concentrating on completing the Spring Cleanup. The county has agreed to accept tires collected during the Cumberland Falls cleanup set for May 17. Tire amnesty funds must be expended by June 30.
Local solid waste officials are still hoping to hold a bulk drop-off at the Stearns Transfer Station on May 17 as well. The event, which had been held in conjunction with the 27 Clean Sweep, was postponed in hopes that PRIDE funding be-comes available.
Even if that does not occur, the solid waste board is hoping to secure 6-10 dumpsters to be filled on a first come, first served basis.
For more information about Spring Cleanup activities or the Litter Abatement civic fund-raising program, call 376-2556 or 376-2413.