City starts 'Adopt-a-street'

Several Claremont residents took on the responsibility of keeping the city clean by adopting a street.

Four groups chose to adopt city streets and keep them clear of trash as part of Claremont's Adopt-a-Street program. Claremont City Council presented those groups with signs Tuesday at the council's February meeting.

"We put this program together to help people get more involved in picking up litter," said Henry Helton, of the city's recreation department.

Carolina Coach and Camper business adopted Centennial Boulevard from North Oxford Street to Lookout Street. Former Claremont Mayor Glenn Morrison and friends adopted Penny Lane and Kelly Boulevard.

Mount Calvary Church in Claremont chose to adopt Main Street from Depot Street to Oxford Street, and The Claremont Courier adopted Main Street from Dogwood Drive to Oxford Street.

Groups who adopted streets each received two green Adopt-a-Street signs that Claremont's Public Works department will mount on the ends of their respective streets.

Groups who choose to adopt a street agree to pick up trash and litter along their designated streets at least once every three months.

Claremont partnered with Keep Catawba County Beautiful, which is a nonprofit affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, to start the Adopt-a-Street program.

Anyone interested in adopting a Claremont street is asked to call City Hall at (828) 459-7009.

Participants in the program must:

-View the North Carolina Department of Transportation Adopt-a-Street safety video;

-Wear an approved orange safety vest during trash pick-up;

-Be at least 12 or older;

-Obey all safety rules and guidelines.

In other business
Claremont City Council approved the purchase of a skid steer loader machine for the Public Works Department to maintain the city's rights-of-way.

The skid steer, which is commonly a four-wheel drive vehicle, is used for accessing and clearing land where it's difficult for larger vehicles to travel.

"Sometimes we fight a losing battle," said Claremont Public Works director Tom Winkler, adding the terrain around the city's water and sewer rights-of-way make them difficult to access and repair.

Public Works found a skid steer that meets the city's needs for $47,203. That money will come from the water and sewer capital fund, which is reserved for outlay projects or updates in water or sewer.

"We've needed this piece of equipment, or something like it, for quite some time," said Claremont Mayor Dave Morrow.

The city's skid steer purchase will include a clamp-style bucket attachment. Winkler said that, in the long term, the city will consider purchasing additional attachments, such as a jack hammer or a bush hog.