City Councilman H.D. Jones doesn’t mind one bit that people are calling the neighborhood cleanup happening in a three-block area near the Bennie Houston Center a “Ward 2 thing.”
“It’s a good thing,” Jones said. “We may start a little slow, and a little small, but we’re starting and we’re not stopping.”
Neighbors, volunteers and city employees will be out in force Saturday to really get the cleanup rolling. One abandoned house on Hall Street is scheduled to be demolished, and Jones said he’d be there with staff with shredders and dozers.
But anybody who wants to help, and anybody who can, is invited to participate. Volunteers are being asked to bring their gloves, tools and strong backs, and residents are being urged to be there to work.
The neighborhood group, operating by the acronym “NIMBY,” which stands for “Not In My Back Yard,” is looking to revitalize the older neighborhood.
The cleanup day will officially begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, though Jones said he and some of the staff would be there at least by 8, he was sure.
“It’s scheduled to go until about 4. We’ll have some food — free food, barbecue — and water, and cold drinks, so we’ll break for lunch. But if we have enough people, I think we can get a lot done,” Jones said.
People will either gather at the Bennie Houston Center, or Jones said, probably if people turn off Austin on Bailey, just past Smitty’s Bar-B-Que, they’ll see the people working and be able to figure out where to go.
The City will provide Dumpsters so people can get rid of old tires, and “junk” and city trucks will be provided to haul off brush, Jones said.
“Of course the City’s taking care of the demolition of the house, and we’ve also got some volunteers who are going to help one of the churches get in a sidewalk leading to their handicap ramp,” Jones said.
“We’ve got some people who are donating some services, that’s a real help. We just need people to take an interest. That’s what we need, is buy in from everybody, the people who live there who want the neighborhood to be a place they can be proud of.”