By Jeff Osborne
THREE RIVERS – In an effort to help transform the City of Three Rivers into a showplace for South Texas, while at the same time emphasizing benefits for local health and safety, Mayor Felipe Martinez, City Administrator Thomas Salazar and Police Chief Vance Roberts launched a campaign on Thursday, May 30, titled “Hand and Hand We Can Clean Up Our Town.”
Roberts said while code enforcement can be one of the most difficult issues for city government, it is important for the city to be at its best.
“The Three Rivers Police Department and the City of Three Rivers work very hard every day to ensure the health and safety of our citizens, and one way we do this is through code enforcement. We want to improve the quality of life here in Three Rivers through the implementation and the enforcement of our health, sanitation, housing and safety codes,” he said.
“This is very important to ensure the safety of everyone and help protect against bugs, rodents, snakes, et cetera, that can harm and carry diseases.”
Roberts said he has joined with Mayor Martinez and City Manager Salazar to involve the citizens of the community to help clean up the city.
“If every citizen does their part, our town will shine,” Roberts said. “We are asking everyone to take care of their property by taking care of weeds, high grass, rubbish, trash, junk vehicles and other items that could be considered hazards or eyesores.”
In order to help with the cleanup, the city has announced the next brush and bulky item pickup. Those who have their trash collected on Friday will have brush and bulk items collected July 4-5, and those with Monday trash pickup can expect this service July 18-19.
“In about two to three weeks, all officers of the Three Rivers Police Department will be out in the community talking with residents about the campaign and the next brush/bulky trash pickup,” Roberts said. “Unfortunately, if compliance is not obtained, warnings and ultimately citations will be issued to those whose properties and not in compliance with city ordinances and codes.”
Roberts said Three Rivers residents will be given time to get things done, but that the laws will be enforced so that areas are cleaned up.
“I’ll be real stern about this once they’ve had a warning,” he said. “If they fail to comply, they will be issued a citation and have to appear before (Municipal) Judge (Dawn) Benham.”
Martinez said in addition to benefiting local residents, “we want people from out of town coming in to notice that Three Rivers is a nice place.
“Our schools have been upgraded and have some excellent facilities. Valero is building a new administration building. The city needs to do its part.”
The code enforcement efforts will also be joined with a plan to upgrade city streets.
“This has been on my mind for a while,” Martinez said. “I’m a go-getter.”
Those who are not able to do the work themselves because of age or health issues should call Three Rivers City Hall at 361-786-2528 and make arrangements.
“Some of the elderly people might not be able to handle some of the things that need to be done,” Martinez said. “We can help them. There are people who are required to perform community service that can help.”
Salazar said people who believe they can’t do the work themselves should be aware that this is a community effort.
“We will work together and find a way to get things taken care of,” he said.
When it comes to street improvements and beautification efforts, there are both short-term and long-term plans, the city leaders said.
“We want to get it done and we’ve got to get it done,” Martinez said. “There’s no reason why we can’t make Three Rivers even better, a place we can take even more pride in.”
Jeff Osborne is the editor of The Progress. He can be reached at 361-786-3022 or firstname.lastname@example.org.