It’s funny and even sometimes tragic at how hard it is to make changes in people’s lives once something has been ingrained in them.
A classic example is in Stephenville where for a number of years now there was a practice in place by the town to pick up larger debris during the spring and summer months.
The only stipulation was that the pickup would take place on Fridays as long as people would put their unwanted items out to the curb and phone the town to let them know they were ready for pickup.
Now with a new council and a new way of thinking, it was decided to change the rules so that this type of debris wouldn’t be around the town for the tourist season so that visitors and locals alike wouldn’t have to be seeing this type of clutter all summer.
Deputy Mayor Susan Fowlow gave the reminder to residents at the regular general meeting of the Stephenville town council that these Friday pickups will not take place now until the end of September.
There was lots of opportunity for residents to get rid of their clutter this past spring and the town’s public works department was busy picking up the rubbish that was at curbside and for a while out of hand when people started amassing their unwanted articles at an area of the Lions Club property on Woodland Street, something that’s hoped to not be repeated next year.
Having a neater town during the peak tourist season is a good idea, especially since the Stephenville Destinations Committee has for some years now been promoting attracting people to the town through its Friendly Invasion events.
Just last Thursday there was big support for an “Our Founding Families – Back of the Pond” parade in the town with everything from antique vehicles, indigenous drumming and dancing, responder vehicles to representation from community groups and organizations.
That type of activity, along with the Stephenville Theatre Festival that is celebrating its 40th anniversary season, is attracting people to the town and area and the last thing you want them to be seeing is what people want to discard.
Fowlow said the municipal enforcement officer will be making visits to homes where people are still putting out debris at this time of year to issue them a reminder that this is not within the current regulations of the town.
Breaking the habit of putting out household debris items at this time of year might be a difficult thing to do but doing it is so important because the peak tourism season in this province has a narrow window and keeping properties clean and respectable during that time is important.
Council is only right to ask people to keep it clean and green during the tourist season.