Over 130 years ago in "Life on the Mississippi" Mark Twain wrote, "Helena occupies one of the prettiest situations on the Mississippi River.” Indeed, Helena does occupy a special spot on the river and is a beautiful Mississippi River Delta town. We must all take pride in our community and be dedicated to keeping it clean. The city is taking an active role in this area, and I ask each of you, our citizens, to do the same thing

Over 130 years ago in "Life on the Mississippi" Mark Twain wrote, "Helena occupies one of the prettiest situations on the Mississippi River.”  Indeed, Helena does occupy a special spot on the river and is a beautiful Mississippi River Delta town.  We must all take pride in our community and be dedicated to keeping it clean.  The city is taking an active role in this area, and I ask each of you, our citizens, to do the same thing. 

I wrote to you earlier that the city council and I have appointed a property standards board, with representation from each of our five wards, which has already begun work with two other entities to address the dilapidated and burned out dwellings and buildings in Helena-West Helena. 

One of these entities Reclaimed Helena will soon be taking down 13 of these ruined structures. Additionally, we will soon be adding a second code enforcement officer to oversee code enforcement in a director's position.  This new code enforcement officer will also aid in enforcing regulations regarding overgrown lots, which are particularly prevalent this time of the year.  

A central community collection site and program for recycling are forthcoming. We will be recycling plastic, paper, and cardboard. 

Working together, the city, individuals, and businesses can make a huge impact on cleaning up Helena-West Helena. I ask each of you to do your part. We will all reap and enjoy the benefits and build pride in our community. 

Keep Arkansas Beautiful recommends several small ways that we can each make a difference:

•Don't litter.  Dispose of trash properly.

•Report litterers. Call 866.811.1222 when you see someone litter on any roadway.

•Pick up at least one piece of litter every day. 

•Keep a litterbag in your car.

•Reuse plastic grocery bags at home as trashcan liners.

The street paving that I have been talking about in my last few messages is set to begin no later than Monday. You will probably see new asphalt on Jane and Jordan streets first, with many other locations throughout the city to follow.

We have three new fire trucks on order and will be adding new police cars within the next sixty days. 

Don't forget that this coming Monday, June 27, we will hold a reception for all citizens of Helena-West Helena to meet our new Police Chief Virgil Green. The reception will be held at the Hunt Education Center at 105 Missouri Street from 5:30 until 7 p.m. Please make plans to come and welcome our new chief. I look forward to seeing you there.