TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - Volunteers and city employees woke up early Saturday morning to begin the first clean-up day in Operation Trumann Clean-Up. Mayor Sheila Walters, Councilman Carl Wilson and 4 other volunteers began cleaning up Ward 3 for 4 hours Saturday.
"Everybody is complaining about all the stuff lying around. The ditches are dirty and the drainage is not good, so we're trying to get that around and pick up all the debris and just clean it up," said Wilson, who represents Ward 3.
Operation Trumann Clean-Up is a volunteer group of citizens who want to beautify the city. For months, the city has been looking for ways to improve appearance to residents and outsiders.
"Our goal is to let the citizens know that we care about how the town looks and we want them to participate in the cleaning up," said Walters.
Walters said 2 city employees were paid Saturday so volunteers could get more work done with city equipment.
"We're finding, tires, couches, limbs, I mean, you name it, it's in there. I'm surprised at how much we've cleaned up in the little area we've covered so far," said Wilson.
According to Billy Williams, who has been working for the city Public Works Department for 6 months, some residents of Trumann don't care about appearance.
"There are a lot of people here in Trumann, they don't care how they mess up. They just throw garbage in their yards and we want to clean it up, make the town look good," said Williams. "I see a lot of garbage on the streets, a lot of people throw couches, mattresses, and they just throw them off in ditches."
Walters said each month; the volunteer group will select a ward to be cleaned up on a Saturday. Residents from each ward represent Operation Trumann Clean-Up, but Wilson said he was upset with the number of volunteers present for the Ward 3 clean-up.
"This is our first go-around. Hopefully our next go-around, more people will get involved. They'll see us out working and cleaning up and see how much we're doing for the city," said Wilson.
Wilson said he was the only city council member volunteering Saturday, along with Mayor Walters.
"I believe that anything I ask someone else to do, I should be volunteering to do. So if I'm asking people to help clean up, then it's my job to clean up," said Walters.
"Each ward, week by week, I'd like to see this happen more often and just keep it clean and keep the ditches clean. I think the drainage will make a big difference and just make our town look beautiful," said Wilson.
Walters said the city is using the work of the volunteer group because it's a low cost way of getting something done. When Region 8 News' camera was rolling, Wilson and Walters were able to unclog a stopped up ditch in minutes. If they would not have cleared the dirt from the ditch, a person would not have noticed the water in the drain.
"If you come to a dirty city. Who wants to live in a dirty city? Nobody. If we get out and clean up and it makes our city look better, that's what people want. So that's what we're here to do," said Wilson.
The city has also kicked around other ideas to improve appearance, including a possible park along Speedway Street between Ellis and Smith. The city may also install a gazebo at the splash pad, among other things.
"Trumann is a nice place to live. You've got friendly folks and we just want to put the extra touch on it and make it look like your most comfortable hometown that looks good," said Walters.
"We're not even half, a quarter of the way done. We got a long way to go," said Wilson.