City workers leave desk jobs to clean Columbia streets

2 years 11 months 2 weeks ago Friday, June 05 2015 Jun 5, 2015 Friday, June 05, 2015 7:30:00 AM CDT June 05, 2015 in News
By: Alyssa Casares, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - City employees, who usually work in offices and behind desks, will leave the routine for a temporary job of sorts, cleaning Columbia streets.

Mike Matthes is Columbia's City Manager and came up with the idea... after he noticed litter on the streets during a drive to work.

"When I drive to work like everyone does, I'll be spending a lot of time looking at the sidewalks off to the side or how the storm drains look, how much debris there might be at an intersection," Matthes said. "And so I couldn't help but notice that we do this chip and seal process that's a nice coating that we put on top of streets to make them last longer, but it also leaves behind kind of a mess on either side. And a lot of the places we've done that, there's still the rock out there that didn't get embedded into the road."

City employees -- who became volunteers -- signed up to clean litter, trim branches and bushes, clean the sidewalks, replace streets signs, repaint fire hydrants and other cleaning activities.

"While we as property owners are supposed to maintain our own sidewalks, there are the ones in front of our property," Matthes said. "No one in Columbia does that."

He said although it is a property owner's job to maintain their own property, it is not their job to clean the streets.

"While we have machines that do that, street sweepers, they're not exactly detail oriented machines," Matthes said. "They get a lot of stuff up, but it's just not as clean as I'd like to see it." 

Matthes said the idea piggybacks another existing volunteer program, called Cleanup Columbia.

"We have thousands of people who just go out and clean up trails and parks and various places in the city," Matthes said. "[But] we don't really have anyone cleaning the streets. You know it's dangerous. You don't just want anyone to volunteer to walk down the middle of the street. So, this is when I brought the idea to the cabinet."

Matthes said it is the job of the city to make life in Columbia better, so he thought he would give city employees the opportunity to volunteer.

"There's 1,400 of us," Matthes said. "Volunteer to do something different that day, and let them off their normal duties, if we can. Now we have to manage that, you know. We not going to let the entire police force volunteer, right? Some of us have to do our normal jobs."

Matthes said the street division will manage safety during this year's street cleaning and if everything goes well, Matthes hopes to expand the idea to include citizen volunteers next year.

"We're going to do this first try," Matthes said. "It's a pilot really to see if it works.  And what we learn we'll tweak, you know, how it works."

Matthes said volunteers will clean a stretch of Worley and Rogers between West Boulevard and College Avenue.

 

More News

Grid
List
NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that President Donald Trump is violating the First Amendment when he... More >>
32 minutes ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 7:10:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal district court in St. Louis has ruled that the Missouri prison system must... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:48:22 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
MID-MISSOURI - If you look at the forecast you can easily tell that summer is here early. Don't forget that... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:43:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in Weather
(CNN) - NFL players must stand during the National Anthem this season, team owners decided Wednesday, a reaction to fierce... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:36:38 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - The sheriff's department said it found pipe bombs, a detonation cord and drug paraphernalia in a Cole... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:54:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
HALLSVILLE - The NRA Bianchi Cup happens every year in Missouri, however this year, embattled Gov. Eric Greitens made an... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:40:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The House Special Investigative Committee continued reading the transcript of the testimony of the woman involved in... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:12:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A revision to Missouri's amateur sports tax credit program could bring more sporting events to Mid-Missouri. The... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:04:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
CALIFORNIA - The Moniteau County prosecutor filed criminal charges against the former California police chief Wednesday. Former police chief... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 2:15:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A top official at Missouri's Department of Public Safety had a potential conflict of interest when... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 2:11:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK- Businesses in mid-Missouri face a steep choice when it comes to having live entertainment -- lose the music... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 1:53:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A Missouri judge is weighing whether a secretive nonprofit group that supports Gov. Eric Greitens' agenda... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 1:08:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - The Cole County Prosecutor's Office filed charges Wednesday against a man suspected of having pipe bombs and... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 10:30:00 AM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson says he will be ready to step up if Gov. Eric... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 9:48:00 AM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The city of Columbia will hold the first of seven community policing meetings Wednesday evening. Each meeting is set... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 7:34:00 AM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
BOLIVAR (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol says an 87-year-old man died after a small plane he was piloting... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 6:39:00 AM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was pulled over Friday while speeding. Spokesman Parker Briden in a... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 6:21:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The next phase of a new VA facility in Jefferson City is underway. Jefferson City Council... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 6:16:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 83°
8pm 81°
9pm 78°
10pm 76°
11pm 75°