Break out the rakes, pile up the dead tree branches, uproot the dead bushes and trim the yards. That's what the Sunnyside City Council is asking residents to do throughout the month of May.
The city council is giving Sunnyside residents ample time to help clean up their properties in accordance with the city's cleanup ordinance during the month. Residents will be given through the end of the month to cleanup and maintain their properties before the city begins handing out warnings and citations beginning in June.
When looking back at how the cleanup ordinance was enforced last year, council members decided to make a few changes, one of which included pushing back the time before warnings would be handed out. Councilman Tony Riffle said the city wanted to give residents more time to cleanup their yards this year. Instead of making people rush to get their properties in compliance. The council felt that a one month period of time would be the best solution.
When reviewing how the ordinance worked last year, council members noted that the ordinance helped make the city look better and was something that the community could be proud of.
So to get more involved this year the council is also lending a helping hand in the cleanup process. Riffle said that Sunnyside residents can call City Hall and request that the city dump truck be placed near their home so big materials including tree branches and any other things that could be considered garbage can be disposed of properly.
"By doing this we can help residents clean up their properties and get rid of everything they need to now," Riffle said before the warnings and citations are handed out by the city.
While homeowners throughout the city will be dealing with different situations such as trimming trees or cutting down large amounts of weeds, there is at least one pest that has become a part of the equation. The purple sprouting weed, known as Morning Glory, can be seen around much of the vegetation along the roadsides in Sunnyside and throughout Carbon County. It is a tough type of weed that can be hard to permanently remove from a yard, requiring a lot of weed killer treatment and constant trimming. It can take a year or two before all of the Morning Glory weeds are killed, according to lawn care magazines and experts.
Despite the cleanup work ahead for residents in the city, Riffle said many have been doing very well in taking care of their yards. Since the cleanup ordinance has been in effect, citations have been declining over the past few years.
"A few years ago people were getting a lot of citations for not cleaning up, but in recent years residents have been doing a much better job in following the ordinance," Riffle said.
Starting in June, the city will begin monitoring the area to see if residents are in compliance with the ordinance. Those not in compliance would be issued a warning by the city giving them a period of time to clean up. If a resident is not in compliance at the end of the warning period, a citation would then be issued.
With the weather bringing in more rain than usual in the area, Riffle said he is confident that residents will take care of any weed problems through the rest of the spring and into the summer.
Residents are allowed to have the dump truck placed near their home for free one time. After the one free load allowed by the city, a $40 charge would be applied for any additional load.