City recruits help to clear storm debris

By James Draper
Both Gladewater residents and city personnel spent a good part of the summer dealing with a record-setting amount of green debris following the mid-June storm.
The uncommon volume strained city resources for clearing it all. There has been progress, though, and City Hall’s working to finish the clean-up.
“I know we still have a lot of debris around,” Gladewater Mayor Scott Owens said during city council members’ regularly-scheduled meeting July 20. With pickups underway, “We appreciate all of y’all’s patience as we do that.”
As severe as the storm was, City Manager Charlie Smith noted, it left plenty of debris around Lake Gladewater in addition to private property and public land throughout town.
At such an extraordinary volume, “I don’t know if my Public Works Department would be able to get to all of that in the next year,” Smith added. Rather than wait, the city opted to bring in a contractor to haul off as much as possible as quickly as possible: “We’re going to bring them in and get all that out of the way. It’s just so much.”
A controlled burn approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will be performed as soon as possible.
“That’s coming about, it’s just taking a while to get to it today.”
On a similar note, Smith said the city’s previously contracted mower stopped work and increased the bid for the service by $6,000 a month: “We’ve been working to find a new contractor to come in and take care of that situation.”
Notably, the presence of Gladewater Police at Lake Gladewater has been increased at the council’s direction.
On weekends, “We have off-duty officers that are coming in and patrolling the lake,” Smith noted. “It’s a heavy police patrol. Hopefully we’ll see some difference in the debris and the trash that’s thrown around that lake. We’re trying to work it and be positive with that.”
As far as good news, during his monthly city manager’s report Smith said electrical repairs at Bumblebee Park have led to some obvious improvements.
“All the lights are on,” he said, with new LED lighting on the basketball court, restrooms and pavilion in addition to a new lit sign for the recreation area on Coach Cooksey street.
In the mayor’s July update, Owens reminded drivers to slow down this month as students return to school Thursday, Aug. 10. He also urged locals to mark their calendars for noon Aug. 17 as State Rep. Jay Dean visits Gladewater for a town hall meeting in First Methodist’s Jeter Hall.

Facebook Comments