Volunteers Help Citizens Clean Up Their Property - The Missourian: Local News

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Volunteers Help Citizens Clean Up Their Property

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Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 6:32 pm

The city’s Clean Up, Fix Up campaign got a boost of community spirit last week when a local church and the city code enforcement teamed up to help some residents who can’t do the needed work themselves.

The city of Pacific had issued summonses to the residents, telling them they had to clean or fix code violations on their property, but some had medical conditions that prevented them from doing the work. One was far from home.

So, some 55 volunteers from New Beginnings Lutheran Church, 791 New Beginnings Drive off Hogan Road, spread out across the community Saturday, May 3, to do the work that residents could not do.

It was 165 hours of free labor, to prepare the outside of one house for new paint, demolish one crumbling carport, clean and landscape one yard and cut the weeds and overgrowth of a lot owned by a deployed serviceman.

Volunteers will go back later in the week to paint the exterior of the residence where scraping and other prep work was completed Saturday.

Travis Torbla chaired the work project, which was coordinated with Dan Rahn, Pacific city engineer, and Richard Adams, code enforcement officer, who has led the city’s Clean Up Fix Up campaign.

Among the beneficiaries of the free labor were the GI stationed in Germany, who has been issued a summons to cut his grass, but cannot get home to do it, an elderly woman who is bedridden, and several elderly citizens who are physically unable to make the needed repairs.

“We started with a list from Richard (Adams),” Rahn said. “He is the one who knows what needs to be done and which residents are in real need of help.”

Then, Rahn, Adams and Torbla made site visits to each property on the list.

“Travis (Torbla) is really an engaging guy who has done a lot of community work like this,” Rahn said. “He explained the program to each person and they were very grateful.”

Torbla later met with the residents a second time to coordinate the work date.

“New Beginnings Church has a lot of skilled labor people in their congregation and they wanted to do something to help the community,” Rahn said. “This program is good for the city. It shows people that the code enforcement officer, and the rest of us, are not just the Big Bad Wolf, but that we engage the public in addressing their needs.”

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