A proposal

I presented this to the Westport City Council. It is now on the desk of the mayor. What I need is for people to contact the mayor if they think this is a good idea.

I am a disabled senior citizen and unable to do yard work or mow my lawn. There are many other disabled and senior citizens who have the same problem in Westport.

My yard used to look nice and now it looks like a jungle. I have tried to do the yard work and it is very hard for me. I am afraid I am going to fall. Many senior citizens have tripping and fall problems and cannot be out in their yards. I have contacted the Westport maintenance department and they do what they legally can. I have also contacted the Coast Guard, Westport Fire Department and most of the churches in the area. The only one who has called me back was the pastor who runs the Westport Food Bank. She says the same thing — there is no one to help. My son cannot do my yard because he had one surgery on his knee and now needs another surgery, maybe two. That puts him out of commission for over one year.

I propose this: Ask for volunteers, people who have to do community service ordered by the court. Also Ocosta School District has high school students who are required to do community service for graduation.

The city could ask for donations of lawn equipment, etc. to maintain lawns and yard work. The city can ask the coalition of churches to oversee this project. The city would be cleaner and look neater by helping the seniors and disabled citizens. You also could have a sign up list at City Hall. This would be a good thing for the city and their senor and disabled citizens. There are many lots that need work and no one to do it. When the tourists come to town they see the run-down yards and lots. This would help the image of Westport.

Regarding cost: You can find people who need help by looking in the records for people who have water and garbage that have applied for discounts, the food bank, Senior Center, caregivers for the disabled and elderly and calling DSHS Home and Health at the Senior Care Center in Aberdeen.

There should be minimal cost since you have volunteers, people who are required to do community service and students to do the work. The cost would be to the tools used to do the work but most can be donated. It would be a big gain for the city to have everything looking nice. There may be grants for this type of work to help with the cost of maintaining equipment and to oversee the projects and a shed to store the equipment.

Is there a way the council will give the first grant for this program? As far as I know there are no other cities doing this for their citizens and Westport would be one of the first.

We are a small city and this would be groundbreaking for your citizens to have this type of help. Just think of the good publicity you will have for the tourists to see.

Cherie Smith