MOUNT VERNON - As spring moves in, the City of Mount Vernon Parks Department has been busy preparing the city owned parks for citizens to enjoy. The city’s parks officially open on April 1 every year and remain fully operational until Nov. 15.
During this time, the park pavilions host many family events, local youth compete in various sports leagues, community events are held, and countless numbers of residents enjoy the parks. In order to keep the parks enjoyable for all, the city is asking for the public’s help in keeping them safe and clean.
Tom Hinkle, Director of Public Works is asking for the citizen’s help.
“We need your help, Mount Vernon,” Hinkle said. “It is becoming more frequent that the trash dumpsters and receptacles at the parks are being used for household refuse. Adding household trash to what is already being created at the parks puts the burden on the taxpayers. Currently, the dumpsters are emptied twice a week, and that is barely getting us by. If we have to go three times a week, that will be a 50% increase in cost.
"That cost will be absorbed within the Parks Department budget, meaning taxpayer’s money that could be used for park improvements is instead being used to clean up and dispose of other’s trash.”
Now, more than ever, it is imperative for the city to be diligent with their budget. Mount Vernon City Council approved the hiring of a consultant firm to create a masterplan for the city’s park system. The masterplan will focus on upgrades, maintenance, and improvements in the parks.
The city expects to begin budgeting for the improvements next year.
Jon May, Assistant Director of Public Works for Parks and Recreation, appealed to citizens and visitors of Mount Vernon to cooperate in assisting the Park’s Department by only using the barrels and dumpsters in the parks for trash that is generated in the parks.
“We are asking for their assistance in helping keep trash picked up in the parks,” May said. “We appreciate your help in this matter. It helps us keep the parks clean and functional for all to enjoy.”
If citizens see illegal dumping at the city’s parks, they are asked to call the Parks Department at 740-393-9501. Any identifiable information (i.e. license plate number, descriptions, and/or photos) is also helpful.