Mancos is taking a carrot-and-stick approach to cleaning up town.
The Mancos Board of Trustees plans to sponsor a cleanup weekend on Friday through Saturday, Sept. 14-16, giving residents the opportunity to take their trash, inoperable appliances and cars, scrap metal, and tires (for a small fee) to the Public Works Department at 300 South Monte St.
Hazardous materials and e-waste will not be accepted, but the drop-off site on Road 39 will also be open all weekend.
“However, we can’t do it alone,” Alvarez said. “We need your help.”
If that doesn’t do the trick, renewed enforcement will kick in.
As part of its cleanup plan, the town also plans to assess the extent of blighted properties and ask residents and businesses that are not in compliance with town codes to clean up their property, Heather Alvarez, town administrator and clerk-treasurer, said in a press release.
“We’ll have an educational campaign regarding some of the more common violations so that residents and owners are able to correct issues prior to the new enforcement effort,” said Cindy Simpson, a member of the Board of Trustees. “With this change to our process, the Board of Trustees intends to have the code enforced fairly and equitably.”
Town trustees recognize that some residents might not have the time or physical or financial ability to maintain a property, Alvarez said, but the cost of blight affects everyone.
“Junk, weeds, and trash are overtaking our beautiful town,” she said. “What many don’t realize is that blight leads to a deteriorating quality of life for everyone in the community.”
Piles of junk and refuse in yards can lead to safety and health hazards such as fires, Alvarez added. They can also provide habitat for prairie dogs and mice, which can carry diseases such as rabies, the plague and hantavirus. More mice also means more feral cats and snakes, she said.
And the presence of old appliances and tires and abandoned cars can invite graffiti and tagging, window breaking, and other shenanigans, she said.
“Weeds and junk can lead to decreased land values for everyone and a decreased likelihood of townwide economic development, which means fewer local jobs and opportunities, fewer families moving in to replace those that have moved on, fewer kids in our schools, and fewer professionals and tradespeople providing important services,” Alvarez said.
“This also results in fewer people spending money at our local businesses buying gas, groceries and other items.”
For more information, see the flier on the town’s website, www.mancoscolorado.com.