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Ogden launches Olympics cleanup plan

PR campaign urges residents to spruce up city

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OGDEN — The city is filthy and needs a bath before hundreds of folks show up to watch Olympic competitions in February, the mayor says.

In an effort to spruce up the place, Mayor Matthew Godfrey is launching an extensive public-relations campaign urging residents to clean house before the company arrives.

That company includes not only visitors, but television cameras that might want to spotlight Ogden during the Games. And if pictures of the city are broadcast across the globe, Godfrey wants them to look good.

"It's been a long time since we've done a fall cleanup," Godfrey said. "We want to give people an added incentive to make everything look great for our visitors."

Godfrey's campaign offers myriad free services — normally available only during springtime — that encourage free cleaning.

The city, for instance, is distributing passes for residents who want to drop off up to 800 pounds of waste at the Weber County Garbage Transfer Station. Under the pass system, the city picks up the dumping tab for residents who haul out their trash.

Also, the city will deliver 30-foot Dumpsters to residents' doors.

The "Dial-A-Dumpster" program allows groups of five or more neighbors to band together, collect garbage and have city workers deliver Dumpsters to their neighborhoods and pick them up when they're full.

"You'll drive by some of these neighborhoods after they've had the Dumpster and it just looks great," said Cheryl Hurley, Dial-A-Dumpster administrator.

Along with cleaning, the mayor's office is encouraging sprucing.

Godfrey's campaign encourages residents to take advantage of low- and no-interest loans homeowners can use to make improvements and repairs.

Project coordinator Mark Hansen said the loans are available to inner-city and west-side homes and anyone who qualifies as a low-income household.

"People usually wait for spring to clean house because that's when we have our free program," Godfrey said. "We just want to encourage them to do it sooner this year."

As for Olympics host Salt Lake City, there is no such grandiose plan.

Public service director Rick Graham said the city, like every year, is conducting its junk collection program that travels from neighborhood to neighborhood between April and October.

Outside the annual pickup program, Graham said the city has encouraged communities within the city to make sure their area is prepared, and clean, to host the Games.

"There's been a lot of effort on the city's part to encourage communities to get involved and put on a nice face for the Olympics," Graham said. "What that entails is up to the individual communities."


E-MAIL: bsnyder@desnews.com