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Citywide cleanup set May 27-30: Good neighbor approach the best

Guest Commentary

Our communities are connected chains of neighborhoods — from the people next door, to the familiar faces on our block to the businesses on Main Street. We choose our friends, but our good neighbors are the happenstance bonus of home selection. Neighborhoods are pleasant oases of mutual respect, helpfulness and ownership pride as we share the goal of maintaining attractive, well-kept, safe spaces for all to enjoy. Not only does this increase property value and pleasure, but makes a positive and lasting impression on visitors. 

Grangeville’s annual Spring Clean-up Week is May 27-30 as proclaimed and supported by the mayor and city council. Other county communities sponsor similar programs to benefit residents as we put a seasonal polish on our homes, businesses and yards. This is a perfect time for homeowners, landlords, renters and business people to assess individual properties and take appropriate action to remove those unsightly piles of junk, winter debris, weeds, etc.

Good neighbors are a joy. Unfortunately there are rare and aggravating instances of folks who disregard the basic ethics and behavior of neighborliness. Weeds are allowed to flourish and encroach on nearby lawns and gardens; unsightly trash accumulations become an eyesore and create a hot bed for pests and fire hazards; abandoned or ill-parked vehicles jeopardize traffic flow. It is for these situations that city ordinances were designed. Generally, most cities will have the same guidelines for codes and enforcement to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its citizens and to preserve the quality of neighborhoods. 

For Grangeville’s Clean-up Week, consider these city codes:

• Owners and renters of property are responsible for maintenance of that property.

  • Junk, trash piles and scattered debris are prohibited from being left in the yard and must be disposed of properly. This includes car parts and inoperable vehicles; old furniture, mattresses, appliances, tires, wood pallets, etc.

• Weeds must be eradicated through spraying, physical removal or mowing.

• Sidewalks and streets must be kept clear of obstructions.  To maintain normal traffic flow and accommodate the use of emergency conveyances, vehicles parked in the public right-of-way must be eighteen inches from the pavement and arranged in the direction of traffic.

• Dog owners who jog or stroll on city streets and sidewalks with their canines are responsible for removing whatever dog poop is produced by said dog(s).

If there is ongoing and egregious violations of city codes, there is a protocol for addressing the problem.  The Good Neighbor approach is often the best; simply talk with the offender about your concerns. If your neighbor is uncooperative and the property is a rental, the second step would be to contact the property owner. If that still doesn’t provide satisfaction, citizens can file an official complaint form through the city which will begin a process of legal resolution. The City of Grangeville is dedicated to providing education and enforcement efforts that promote voluntary compliance, prompt correction of violations . . . with consistency and fairness to all residents and businesses within the community. 

Let’s have a successful Clean-up Week . . . and be a good neighbor in the process!

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