City workers leave desk jobs to clean Columbia streets

4 years 5 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
FULTON - Some Fulton students are spending much of their Friday in different buildings due to what administrators described as... More >>
22 minutes ago Friday, November 22 2019 Nov 22, 2019 Friday, November 22, 2019 9:30:00 AM CST November 22, 2019 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD — The New Bloomfield School District said it is thinking of moving to a four-day school week after... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 9:16:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Christian Fellowship School will start the giving season a bit early as it launches it's first-ever Serve-a-Thon event... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 8:16:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lincoln University faculty members are voicing their concerns to university officials after it raised their health care... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 7:07:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Another MU fraternity has been suspended just two weeks after the suspension of Sigma Chi. This time, the... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 5:04:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri residents could soon find it easier to update their addresses for voter registration... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 4:31:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are asking Missourians... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 3:30:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services released its latest report on rural health on Friday, detailing... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 2:51:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The 81-year-old mayor of a St. Louis suburb was charged Thursday with submitting fraudulent absentee... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 2:19:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County SWAT team and the MUSTANG Drug Task Force conducted a drug search Tuesday, arresting... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 1:46:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
FULTON - Deputies arrested a man Wednesday afternoon while conducting a drug search, according to Callaway County Sheriff's Office. ... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 1:36:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Wednesday's fire at the Missouri State Penitentiary started as a result of a training burn by the... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 1:03:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Columbia man pleaded guilty Thursday to setting a fire at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 12:02:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The first annual Dementia Caregiver Retreat is helping the loved ones of dementia patients prepare for the... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 3:24:00 AM CST November 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A scooter rental pilot program in Columbia is soon to expire. Now, the scooter company is seeking a... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 12:34:00 AM CST November 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A pedestrian was hit by a vehicle Wednesday night, according to MU Police spokeswoman Sara Diedrich. It... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 9:53:00 PM CST November 20, 2019 in News
FULTON - The only hospital in Callaway County could be in its final days of serving the community. Fulton Medical... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 9:19:00 PM CST November 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Regional Airport is one step closer to getting a new terminal. The city Airport Advisory Board... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 6:51:00 PM CST November 20, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 36°
10am 37°
11am 39°
12pm 40°
1pm 42°