Between the Lines

Between the Lines by David Lias We�re happy with the success of this year�s Operation Pride in Vermillion.

Sponsored by the Vermillion�s Solid Waste Department and a host of local businesses, this spring cleaning effort has effectively blanketed the city.

Operation Pride was begun four years ago. Each year since its inception, clean-up efforts have focused on a quadrant of Vermillion.

Taking on approximately one-fourth of the city each year made the effort much more manageable.

Those involved in the clean-up efforts, including volunteer members of the USD football team, soon discovered that they were dealing with portions of the city that probably hadn�t received a good cleaning for years.

Theoretically, the entire city has now received a clean sweep over the course of four years. One would think that this will mean that future Operation Pride endeavors may hopefully be less taxing.

That�s why we think the city should study the feasibility of changing the scope of Operation Pride beginning next year.

We�d like to see planners of the clean-up effort consider implementing the clean-up effort throughout the entire city.

Yankton annually holds a similar cleaning city wide. Yankton�s efforts this spring collected 66.3 tons of grass and leaves, 413 loads of transfer material weighing 230.9 tons, 355 loads of wood weighing 330.8 tons and 23 loads of concrete and shingles weighing 74.6 tons.

The totals include material collected by city crews, as well as that hauled to a transfer station by city residents.

Transfer material includes anything that can�t be burned at Yankton�s transfer station, such as regular household garbage. There is a rubble pit out at the transfer station, and wood products deposited there are burned periodically throughout the year.

Yankton�s remaining rubble, including tires, appliances which contain freon, paint, used oil and batteries get hauled to the landfill near Vermillion.

We recognize that there are distinct differences between Yankton and Vermillion. Yankton provides a municipal garbage service to residents in Yankton�s city limits.

That city crew, along with other municipal workers in Yankton, are pressed into service every year to help conduct the annual spring cleaning.

Yankton�s cleanup this year cost approximately $51,000. That total includes about $12,000 in tipping fees. Tipping fees cover the cost to dump wood products, concrete and other rubble at the transfer station.

Yankton�s street departments budget pays for the annual cleanup there. Every year, city leaders pencil in a line in the city budget, setting aside funds from Yankton�s solid waste collection budget to pay for the effort.

Yankton uses its street department equipment to pick the waste along the city�s solid waste collection route during its cleanup week.

Vermillion has been relying primarily on financial assistance from several local businesses to help pay for Operation Pride each year.

We praise those local institutions that have helped make Vermillion a better place to live for four years now.

We can�t help but be a bit concerned, however. Local businesses, despite their best intentions, may not always be able to consistently provide financial assistance to Operation Pride.

It is also Vermillion�s goal to improve the esthetics within the city limits.

That would make planning this annual event increasingly difficult � let alone the notion of attempting to expand the effort to cover the entire city each year, or at least more than approximately a quadrant annually.

It is time for city government to make a greater commitment to Operation Pride by providing more and consistent funding and manpower.

We know it won�t be easy. We�ve seen the incredible amount of work devoted to cleaning just a portion of Vermillion each year.

We�re concerned, however, that if Operation Pride stays in its present form, it may mean, in effect, that three-fourths of Vermillion will backslide annually for a three year period.

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