Youth groups pitch in to clean up city
The boom and sparkle of fireworks was nowhere to be seen Tuesday morning as volunteers, clad with trash bags and wearing plastic gloves, picked up the aftermath in Wildhorse Park.
The City of Mustang kept true to its holiday tradition with fireworks allowed June 27 through July 4, but many say the activity was lighter than usual and public safety officials say the weekend was not as busy.
Fire Chief Carl Hickman said the fire department saw two calls on July 4 for dumpster fires but nothing major. The department was on hand Tuesday morning in the park to spray down the dumpsters after all of the fireworks trash was in them.
“We go around and douse them with water, just in case.”
“We were lucky, it was pretty quiet for us,” Hickman commented. “We really didn’t have a whole lot of calls from what we would normally have.”
A small grass fire on the north side of 49th Street also was reported, but the chief said it was small and almost out by the time fire crews were on scene.
A few minor injuries also were reported but no one was transported to the hospital.
On the police front, Captain Jim Davis reported that officers were busier handling than arrests than fireworks calls.
“We had 16 arrests and five of them were juveniles and most of them on traffic stops.”
Community Development Director Melissa Helsel said the city received two complaints about a residential property with an excess of fireworks debris. The property owners were contacted Tuesday and said they would have it cleaned up, Helsel said.
The city posted signs in Wildhorse Park warning residents of a $750 fine for any fireworks trash not picked up. Helsel said this is meant to encourage people to pick up after themselves but this year, no fines were given.
Youth volunteers are the city’s primary clean-up crew for fireworks as it is a requirement of local groups that apply for permits to sell them in the city limits as fundraisers. Helsel added that Silver Star also contributes to the clean-up effort.
“This year’s clean-up was pretty good,” Helsel said. “When I drove into work Tuesday morning the parks and the main streets looked really well.”
Helsel said even her own subdivision saw its fair share of fireworks, adding some people went past the 11 p.m. cut off. “There are rules but people run over.”
“It’s a Mustang tradition and a lot of people in town really love it.”