Asst. to Editor
Now that the weather is not quite so hot, many of us are venturing out to work on our scorched lawns and withered flower beds. We’re trying to deal with wayward tree limbs before the storms come and get them tangled up in our wiring. The results of front yard trimming get lugged around to the back yard and then typically migrates to the alley. The alleys of Altus are ragged from the ravages of the summer, many of them with dried weeds and debris.
During this all too brief Indian summer, we need to tackle our alleys. Maybe some of us can follow the lead of local civic groups by cleaning alleys for those neighbors that may not be able to do so.
Altus Street Commissioner Holmes Willis said residents of Elk City and Ardmore keep their alleys shipshape. Ardmore even shows their alleys on their local television station. Willis said it’s considered quite the thing to have one’s alley make the show. Willis said “It’s a misconception that the alleys belong to the City; they belong to the homeowners.”
A few months ago it was proposed to back a monthly award for the most beautiful yards in each of the four wards of Altus. Then came the summer and water conservation brought a screeching halt to that suggestion. Maybe what we really need is a beautiful alley contest.
The Altus City Code states the ordinances that govern the citizens within the City limits. The City Code is not yet available online, but Mayor David Webb said it will be online in the future, on the new City Web site. The Altus City Code states in Section 25-17 (1) “Commercial landscaping contractors or trimming contractors for hire a prohibited from placing leaves, trees, tree limbs or shrub-type trimmings on any streets, street rights-of-way, alleys, or lots for city pickup.” Whenever hiring work to be done, make certain the landscape contractor hauls any results of trimming. Some alleys have tree limbs in them right now because dishonest or uninformed contractors have left them there. Anyone who’s doing installation work should not leave old appliances in the alleys either.
If you’re doing your own landscape work, what do you do with the grass clippings and tree trimmings? According to Chief of Operations Bob Stephenson, you bag the little pieces up. Put two bags of clippings in the dumpster each week and store the rest of the bags against your fence. Don’t put them on top of the dumpster lids; see Section 25-17 (2).
What about the big tree limbs? The Altus City Code Section 25-17 (3) says that “Tree limbs and shrub-type trimmings shall be cut in lengths so as to be placed in the container so as to take up the least amount of room and shall be cut in lengths of not over three (3) feet in length.” Don’t take up the whole dumpster, but leave excess cut limbs against your fence, but not against the dumpster Section 25-17 (4).
If you’d like to show Altus and Jackson County what a beautiful alley looks like, send a photo and email to email@example.com or bring it by the Altus Times.