Columbia to host fourth Operation Clean Streets for the community

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COLUMBIA - Columbia residents and local volunteers will have an opportunity to walk along streets with city staff Friday to make the city a cleaner place. 

The event will focus on Garth Avenue between Broadway and Business Loop 70. 

Columbia's Office of Neighborhood Services Manager Leigh Kottwitz said Friday's Operation Clean Streets is focused on the city's central strategic planning neighborhood. 

"We have had really great communications and support from the residents here, and we hope to see some of them out about tomorrow whether they're joining us or we just have a chance to talk with them and say hello," Kottwitz said. 

According to the Office of Neighborhood Services, Operation Clean Streets is a special city employee work day focused on cleaning street curbs and sidewalks, picking up litter along streets, painting street markings, clearing vegetation and working in parks. 

"We make such a difference in cleaning up the streets and sidewalks and while it seems minor, but the time we're done, our staff can see such an improvement, and we can see a difference and how this street looks," Kottwitz said. 

The Office of Neighborhood Services has placed dumpsters for resident use near Downtown Optimist Park on Grand Avenue, on Sexton Road just west of Garth and on Pendleton Street east of LaSalle Place. Dumpsters will be available for use through October 10. City staff will also pick up waste tires from residents in the neighborhood on Friday morning. 

"Those things seem very small, do make a difference," Kottwitz said. "And we hope that would send a message to our residents that the city does care, and we want to take care of our neighborhoods and we want to partner with residents."

Kottwitz said some of the city staff coming out Friday doesn't normally work for street projects and doesn't normally work outside of their office, and this will be a great opportunity for them to do something a little different and also work with other city staff and to get to know people who work throughout the city. 

Staff and resident volunteers will meet at 8:30 a.m. at Downtown Optimist Park, 100 E. Forest Avenue. Lunch will be provided to those volunteering on the project. The event is expected to be finished around 3 p.m.