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Redding Up Connellsville project kicks off

| Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Connellsville Falcon football team has taken the ball and will run with it to make the team's neighborhood more attractive and welcoming to visitors and residents.

Coach David McDonald and his players will spend an afternoon this month "redding up" — cleaning up litter — along South Arch Street from Cedar Avenue to Gibson Terrace. They will clean the area several times a year.

"I would like to jump start an Adopt-a-Block movement in the city," Treasurer Judy Keller said. "The football team has been very enthusiastic, and I hope their efforts will inspire others to adopt other sections of the city. Ideally, groups will pick up trash in early April, late June and late September.

Various organizations sponsor events throughout the spring, summer and fall — races, festivals, a farmers' market, outdoor concerts and more — that draw thousands to the town. Thousands more pass through Connellsville on the Great Allegheny Passage.

Keller, board of health member Johanna Harden and several civic organizations urge other groups, neighborhoods and individuals to join the new "Redd Up the Town" campaign and continue it into perpetuity.

"Redding up" is a Pennsylvania Dutch expression, and Harden said the campaign represents a "clean sweep, beginning now. Town residents are encouraged to clean up, fix up and paint, resulting in a community showing its pride in the place we call home."

Organizers hope school clubs, churches, Scout troops and other civic organizations will take up the challenge and agree to clean up trash a few times each year in a specific neighborhood. They hope this will take place even when current members graduate or leave and leadership changes, so the organization itself, and not the current membership, takes on the responsibility.

"If it could just catch on — the idea of people being proud of their town and being proud to be recognized," Keller said. Organizers have been discussing signs for adopted areas to thank sponsors.

Individuals and business owners should also keep the city tidy, Harden said.

Keller recalled seeing a man in a wheelchair digging weeds from cracks in his sidewalk with a long-handled screwdriver. "It was more than 20 years ago, but I still remember him leaning as far forward as he could so he could dig up those weeds."

She said if everyone "would do the width in front of their house and businesses every other week, the town would be immaculate. Sweep the sidewalk, pull or kill weeds, pick up the trash," Keller said.

Harden said residents and business owners should also pick up trash in the alleys.

Tom Currey, health, code and zoning officer said accumulated rubbish is a code violation and property owners can be cited for not removing it. "Even if they did not put the trash there, they are responsible for cleaning it up," he said.

"Business owners are also asked to participate. Business owners are reminded that public sidewalks in front of their buildings need to be maintained of trash and clutter. We ask property owners to trim bushes, hedges, cut weeds and clean windows of vacant business property. Providing adequate trash containers for renters and tenants is the responsibility of the property owner. Removal of abandoned shopping carts should be a priority," Harden said

Property owners may use the large Dumpster near the street department building on West South Street for yard waste. "Superior Mulch will accept clean yard waste for recycling," Harden said.

Harden said the Connellsville Area Garden Club maintains Cameron Court, the football team will take care of the area near the stadium, but many parts of the city need regular attention.

"Other areas that need to be adopted for regular litter sweeps include North Pittsburgh Street, the Connellsville Carnegie Free Library lot, playgrounds and other public areas," Harden said.

Call Keller to adopt a public area. She can be reached at 724-628-2020, ext. 206.

Additional Information:

Spring cleanup

The city's annual spring cleanup of large items will take place on May 12. Place unwanted items out May 11 in the regular place for trash pickup. No household hazardous waste, shingles or other construction materials will be accepted. Freon-containing items will be taken if the item has been tagged indicating Freon has been removed. No boxes should weigh more than 40 pounds. Veolia will only make one pass through the city.

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