Council, Clean and Green plan partnership to spruce up community

Published Jun 9, 2016 at 4:00pm

Rome Clean & Green presented its June progress report to the Common Council at a work session Wednesday, and representatives of each group traded information and plans for how to keep cleaning up Rome.

The city is once again contracting with the non-profit group for help with recycling, litter prevention and beautification initiative. There’s a $127,400 one-year contract in place.

The group reported completed projects: this year’s Community Appearance Index, four Great American Clean Up events, construction of community garden beds and placement of trash and recyclable containers for the Relay for Life.

The collaboration will mean working not only with the city but with Bliss Environmental, the Camden company contracted to collect the city’s garbage, Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority, the school district and residents and volunteers.

The group will also market itself and its mission through the media, social media, its own website and a litter hotline and Community Clean Up Connection (targeted to launch June 15).

In addition to the launch of the website and hotline, the immediate future also includes plans for presentations at community meetings, a public campaign to increase participation in recycling and continued distribution of trash and recyclable containers for special events.

There will also be a citywide awards program for residents and businesses exemplifying the Keep America Beautiful mission.

The group will audit city buildings in collaboration with the Authority to assess materials management practices.

The group will have recommendations for purchase of supplemental receptacles for city buildings, parks and primary pedestrian corridors.

The group also wants to acquire and implement a Recycle Coach program and mobile app.

The group will also investigate recycling incentive programs, and will observe Bliss’ routes and profile multi-unit housing and commercial properties not suited for municipal collection.

There was discussion among members of the council about the city’s trails. Council President Stephanie Viscelli noted that there are at least several trouble spots along the Mohawk River Trail where people are dumping garbage (including tires), leaving broken bottles and camping out.

Clean & Green officials said they want to recruit more groups to adopt portions of the trail as their clean-up responsibilities.

Several councilors suggested such things as waste containers at the trailheads, signs about littering and stepped up police patrols on the trail.

At the regular meeting, the council approved all four agenda items:

• One was a determination that the construction and installation of improvements to the Railroad Street interceptor sewer will not have significant effect on the environment. 

This project would bolster the main sewer line that runs from the pump station at the intersection of Erie and Black River boulevards to the waste water treatment plant on lower East Dominick Street. 

There would be repairs to the existing line and the addition of a second pipe.

• A previously tabled ordinance to bond for up to $14 million to fund the upgrade was also approved.

• The council also authorized the mayor to enter into an inter-municipal agreement with Oneida County’s Department of Social Services for up to $366,975 in reimbursements for housing inspection services.

The agreement would cover Jan. 1, 2016 to Dec. 31, 2018.

• Authorization was also granted for closing the 200 block of Church St. on June 18 for the Junior Ranger event.

Fort Stanwix National Monument, the Rome Historical Society and the Rome YMCA are hosting a free event that will include a bike safety event and street obstacle course to teach safe maneuvering of bicycles when stopping, starting and turning in simple and complex situations.

The closure would be for three-and-a-half hours starting
at 9 a.m.