Chairs and washing machines earned their wings today as city employees loaded them into front-end loaders and tossed them into dumpsters at two locations. Crews at Frances Avenue park on Louisiana Ave and the Old Mission Church on River Road in New Port Richey filled dumpster after dumpster with items brought by residents. It was a brisk morning as temperatures started to drop into the 50s.
A large crowd of volunteers from the Saint’s Hudson Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints were out in force walking door to door asking residents to point out debris that needed to be hauled. Trailer after trailer and truck bed after truck bed made its way to the dumpster locations with plenty of volunteer hands to get them unloaded. Bette Washburn, the church’s volunteer coordinator was part of the group at Frances Park. “One of our goals is to get a lot of community helpers together to do a bigger project,” she said. Her grandson, Ethan Washburn, joined her to help out.
Both of New Port Richey’s code enforcement officers worked Saturday to coordinate with residents and remind them about the cleanup. Public Works Director Robert Rivera coordinated the city’s resources for the event. Police Chief Kim Bogart and newly minted City Manager Debbie Manns were out lending a hand as well.
Ms. Manns, formerly a resident of Ohio, shrugged off the chill and wore a pair of shorts as she worked. The workers seemed to be having a great time and were pleased with the number of residents participating.
Both the Frances Avenue and River Road location had at least one full dumpster bin and a truck full of discarded electronics each. Many residents were surprised to learn that just about anything they brought would be taken. “Can I get rid of anti-freeze?” one resident asked. “Yep,” replied one New Port Richey employee, “we take that.”
by Jon Tietz