“Some of this stuff is our doing,” Janice Hamby said as she surveyed the mess, “but a lot of it was left by the previous owners. I just want to get it out of here.”
The Hambys were among some 350 residents of the mobile home community invited by the Bartow County Code Enforcement office to clean up their property Wednesday with help from county crews.
“Our office gets a lot of complaints about zoning violations in this park — overgrown grass, abandoned vehicles, junk in the yard,” County Zoning Division Manager Brandon Johnson said, “so today we’re trying to help without writing tickets.”
The cleanup began at 8 a.m. By 9, a small mountain of rusting appliances, carpet scraps, tires, porcelain fixtures, faded clothing, even a 10-foot rowboat, rose from three roll-off garbage containers. By 10, the containers had been filled and were en route to the landfill.
Wednesday afternoon Johnson said nine roll-off containers had been filled and carried to the landfill.
“We posted flyers last week on everyone’s mailbox notifying them of the cleanup,” said Bartow County Code Enforcement Lt. Jeff Lawler. “But a lot of the residents here either don’t have access to a truck or are physically unable to take trash to a dump site. We are happy to lend a hand.”
Lawler noted that several prison work details were part of the 20-man crew.
Terry Murphy, Red Top Mountain Estates property manager, said he was elated by the turnout.
“I’ve been after the county for years to help us out,” he said. “This has been a heck of a success. It gives people an incentive to keep their property up.”