on this edition of city focus we update residents on the city’s cleanup efforts after Hurricane for me the valdosta police department welcomes one of its largest citizen police academy classes and the City welcome to 2016-17 Boston you cancel as new and old faces begin a new year garbage dumpsters to become public art downtown valdosta and we have Alexandra Arzayas and studio to talk to us about national community planning month these stories and more on this edition of city focus welcome to city focus i’m marcus meccanico the media coordinator for the city of valdosta city focus is your source for information for what’s taking place within your city government this is the 19th episode of city focus in 2016 and here on some of the important topics that are happening in the city the september meeting of the valdosta youth council was the beginning of a new program year the highlight of the meeting was the introduction of new members to the group how was the first meet you good good that’s amazing meet alot of new people the new numbers are excited to add their input to the council i don’t i don’t know I’ve never really done this before so I don’t really have any expectations i just want to have fun and meet new people i guess the group also discuss plans for the new year I’d like to go to Atlanta and meet all the people up there for more information about the valdosta youth council like their facebook page at facebook.com slash valdosta youth council hurricane hermine long gone from South Georgia the city departments are still working to clean up the mess that made a citywide we have the engineering department the street names division they’re providing some heavy equipment and personnel you know we reached out to the city of Douglas they provided a gravel truck and an individual operator reach out to Advanced Disposal Advanced Disposal they provided to grapple trucks and two operators along with the trucks that we already have on station so we takin all those resources put them all over the the city picking up the speech this material this debris as fast as possible the stores after Mac has more than triple the workload of city workers that pickup yard debris we’ve collected right now over 600,000 pounds which equation about 300 tons of material so we are normally only average our daily are picking up yard debris were averaging about 30 tons daily right now based off those numbers you can see we rep everyday we over a hundred times daily even with the ex a word the crews are up to the challenge of making sure the city is clean they are very motivated of they’re doing an outstanding job like I said they come in seven o’clock in the morning they don’t get out of here 27 in the afternoon they’re motivated they wanted you know definitely want to make sure all the stuff gets picked up you know make sure we take care of our customers and our system citizens put it out as you normally do put it out to the curve make sure you follow the ordinate with the size also make sure that if you use a private contractor that private contractor where there’s a landscaper of tree surgeon is their responsibility to remove that stuff from your premises and what happens to the debris after being picked up from the side of the road do we take it our all we can have a mulching field and we accumulate this mulch in every quarter we have a contractor coming in and grounded up and we have our buyers we have citizens the street to citizens also and we grind it up and we make it available to talk to our citizens it is not going to the landfill all of it is is being reused being recycled for more information on the cleanup effort contact public works at 229- 259-3548 the city of valdosta partner with Main Street Turner center for the arts to turn trash into art a group of local artists turned garbage dumpsters in the downtown area into public pieces of art the day began with the members of the valdosta youth council applying primer to each dumpster downtown then it was the artist time to shine the dumpster in the art center parking lot was painted by a group of students that are members of the VSU artists kill others were completed by lanell Sheen Sarah Lowe and

Taylor Brooks the three locations are the macky street valdosta city hall and valdosta city hall annex parking lots gotta see a fly i got is sent to me like two hours before the deadline saying like this dumpster so i called him right away and I just came from application they told me to come on out here visit each piece of finish public art when you’re downtown dining or shopping students from dewar elementary-school help paint a fifth dumpster that will be placed downtown after its completion students will complete up Lowndes County version of van gogh’s starry night and it will feature locations throughout Lowndes County this was an opportunity for students to give back to the community and learn more about art at the same time and spoke to miss Cheryl Oliver at Turner center she mentions a dumpster project and I thought it would be a great opportunity for my students to be able to for everyone at door to be able to have the opportunity to contribute to something and contribute to something to the community starry night my van Gogh when i first started this we watched a movie about it and then that’s how that Sally stuff i love doing this they’re rather sitting in class it’s more fun the city of valdosta thanks the students and staff of dewar elementary for their participation on october twenty second the city of valdosta will host a bulk trash MSD game at the same time klv will host make a difference day both events are designed to keep the city clean for all of its residents we don’t go out and pick up this trash because we enjoy doing it when we want to do it because i feel like it is making a difference not just aesthetically you know it’s just certainly areas look better without the trash and everything but we also do it to educate people cleaning up the city is the main purpose of both events but they also helped educate citizens on not littering and you see a group of volunteers on the side of the road picking up trash it’s got hopefully it will make you think twice about you know throwing that stuff out your window and if you have a pickup truck hopefully it will make you think twice about just throwing that can or that rapper in the back of your truck because guess what it’s not going to stay in the back your truck it’s gonna fly out and you’re going to get out hey Wow the trash fairy came and took out this take the stuff out of my truck this is awesome I don’t have to throw it away now no somebody’s going to picking up having to pick that up Strickland just hopes to prevent as much litter as possible in the community without you know educational side of it you know this could it would be a never-ending problem which to a degree it as a never-ending problem people always going to litter but my goal is for not as many people to litter and yeah that is that’s the that’s the main thing you know for people to come out get involved you realize take note of these issues and learn not to do it for more information about make a difference day contact klvb at 229-671- 3698 and for more information about amnesty day contact neighborhood development at 229- 671-3 617 calls me gyuki eyes you know you’re beautiful night know you can you’re beautiful I got bullied for wearing glasses share is your case . we put it out there just took off three million people have shared this boats don’t let bullies get you down i stand with you families wearing glasses eyewear glasses not proud hey we have all the comments about my child joy I don’t feel thank you is enough most of my family they never graduated high school or even let alone go to college so we’re gonna break that barrier my daughter brooklynn was also motivation for me to go back to school it’s been so amazing to be able to give our child the life that we kind of pictured us having even though we don’t really have that I’ve been for secure my whole life he’s so strong to just be able to like leave that all behind and still be able to take care of his daughter and be a good husband every day after work with straight to school study hard and it paid off

I’ll be right to not have come alone we built them so much that our life it he never used that it was cute but as motivation to do better i see the future is really practically high school diplomas just added to the confidence and now i feel unstoppable find free adult education classes near you have finished your diploma Donald October is national community planning month the 2016 theme is civic engagement and we have alex arzayas to tell us more about why this is important to the residence of valdosta Alex thank you for joining us thanks for having me Marcus okay why is Community Planning important and we already talked about this year’s thing but how does it go along with this year’s State Community Planning is extremely important to valdosta currently we have four planners within the city limits of valdosta and hahira and we understand the importance of planning because we even have comprehensive plans things of that nature that help us build our community so that we can provide the appropriate services and quality of life to our citizens and um why is civic gate engagement so important and what is citizens need to be involved in this planning process it’s extremely important that we get the opinions and the outlook of our citizens that we serve they shape our community they impact our community please get involved in government and in the community and have your say and what are we doing as a city as you know say officials a city employee what are we doing to get more people involved well city of valdosta has some great programs for people to get involved in police academy fire academy government 101 so that we can educate our citizens as far as planning is going there are very many different boards and commissions that are involved in planning for our community one of them is the greater lowndes planning commission that helps with zonings things of that nature planning comprehensive planning we also have zoning board of appeals that deals with variances and we also have historic preservation commission which is an very unique Commission talking about the historic district of valdosta preserving our history what do we say to that person that believes why should i get involved they’re never gonna listen to me what do you say that person that is not true because a lot of changes in a community happy with grassroots so people somebody has to say i want to make a difference and people will grow together voice their concerns and tell city council what it is that they want to see in their community ok alex i wanna thank you for joining thank you very much Marcus always useful information we learn about planning on and we’ll be back right here on City focus hey look this guys having still really wise men boys decorating yeah yeah q you get to dry hey girl hey girl how many did you have I should be fine should be circling step out the vehicle for me see everybody today Sean’s got a hearing we’ll see how it goes good luck so it turns out was driving drunk driving there are the same thing in a cost around $MONEY thousand-dollar not working the valdosta police department hosts Citizens Police Academy sessions twice a year this false class is one of the largest classes yet and even includes some of the officers spouses openly recruiting warning people to come in again learn everything they can about the about the police department and that law enforcement general one of the reasons for the program’s success is the department’s willingness to allow the community to get an inside look of the VPD things i think that the valdosta police department has always been known for is being open you know giving that Arab we have we have nothing to hide you know we don’t have we’re not behind this this air of secrecy this this cloak-and-dagger thing we don’t operate that way we want people to come and be able to talk to us residents get familiar with police training and policy by riding along with an officer or going through the shooting stimulation that

put citizens in real life scenarios an entire full screen it’s it’s completely interactive of the instructors sitting there with a laptop and you interact with the screen essentially it’s all pre-recorded but he can indicate what he wants the the certain a scenario to act and you’ve got a simulated pistol it’s not real obviously and of course you interact with it and the situation is very fluid vast majority were taken from actual situations we’ve encountered on the street fact if I think almost all of them are the VPD is open to communicating with residents during the sessions citizens are encouraged to come with questions with the fall session of the Citizens Police Academy underway the valdosta Police Department is excited to begin this ten week journey to better educate residents about police work reporting for metro 17 i’m makayla liang the valdosta pilot shuttle program has been extended until december 31st the extension is a result of a grant given by the georgia department of transportation in the department of human services the shuttle is free for those who complete a mandatory consumer registration form that can be found on the shuttle online or at participating shuttle stop locations the shuttle operates monday through friday 7am to 7pm and saturdays 8:30am to 4 p.m. for more information call JD Dillard at the southern Georgia Regional Commission at 229-333-5277 the valdosta fire department is hosting its first annual firefighters ball on october 15 the event is to raise money for pink heels valdosta South Georgia a local fire department initiative that provides care to local women in a variety of ways the ball will take place at the james h rainwater conference center event is open to the public but is adult-only it is formal dress and will include a buffet-style dinner dancing a cash bar and music from the local band live five early bird tickets to the event are thirty-five dollars until sep tember 15 regular price tickets are forty dollars until october 15 for those that are interested contact pataleya chief Ronald screen R screen at valdosta City. com or at 229- 333- 1835 and visit valdosta city.com more information the city storm warning division recently held a second community meeting teaching citizens how to make their own rain barrels rain barrels help reduce the flow storm runoff when it rains runoff picks up soil fertilizer oil pesticides and other contaminants from hard surfaces and landscapes storm one-off is not treated and flows directly in the streams lakes and other bodies of water nearby during drought situations or time to water restrictions a rain barrel would allow citizens to water their plants and garden for more information on the benefits of rain barrels contact the stormwater division at 229- 259-3530 Alice Strickland became a part of the valdosta Lowndes County Zoning Board of Appeals years ago after a suggestion from a friend I had a very good friend of mine that was owned his own board of appeals years ago and he called me up and tap me on the shoulder and said we have a vacancy coming up and i would like you to please consider applying for it so i applied for it so i been doing it ever since the board hears cases in both the city of valdosta and Lowndes County the most common thing we hear is variances for setbacks for buildings the code says you cannot build within so many feet of side yard backyard front yard and sometimes lots are configured that the house that you won’t just doesn’t fit we hear cases for signs as far as sizes and types if it doesn’t meet the code then they have the right to petition for relief and there’s only board of appeals will hear the case and then we’ll make a decision either allow it or not allow it or modify he encourages citizens to come by and sit in on a meeting to find out what the board does and also to consider applying for board that you may be interested in it is an individual citizenship board it’s not a paid job we don’t get anything out of it other than the satisfaction of trying to be good citizens and help either the county or the city of valdosta to resolve some of these issues if you have an interest in this board or other boards are several boards on the city and county that you’d like to get involved with put your name

in the Hat and jump on board to apply for board commissioner authority go to valdosta city .com and click on the link under the government tab a new mortgage assistance program may provide some relief to Georgia homeowners between September 28 in october 18 georgia residents will be able to visit underwater Georgia org to fill out a pre-application for mortgage assistance all applications will be assigned a number we sent to a third party for blind random selection applications will be reviewed in the order selected for eligibility and those deemed eligible will continue through the process not all eligible applicants will receive assistance to be eligible residents have to meet the following requirements Oh more than home is currently worth oh no more than 250,000 dollars have purchased the home before 2012 less than 90 days late on the mortgage your mortgage lender is willing to participate and have not previously received home safe George assistance the website will start taking applications on sep tember 28 they call me Maxie but i prefer tripod i was your above-average four-legged homie and then wham bam minivan some people pity me now that’s lame I still run fetch and swim and the ladies love me i’m the ultimate wingman just don’t ask me to high-five now let’s take a look at what’s taking place in the city in the coming weeks September 27 seeds for success learning series 5 :30 and mount calvary baptist church fellowship contact neighborhood development at 229- 671- 3617 to register october first rivers a lot of cleanup to volunteer contact klv be at 229 -671- 3698 Historic Preservation Commission be 5:30 in the city hall annex multi-purpose room October fourth valdosta Lowndes County Zoning Board of Appeals meaning 2: 30 in the city hall annex multi-purpose room October for city council work session 5 :30 and council chambers october six city council meeting 5:30 council chambers everyone is invited october seven first friday come enjoy shopping and dining in downtown valdosta october 11 central valdosta Development Authority board meeting five o’clock in the city hall annex multi-purpose october 11 tree Commission meeting 5:15 in the engineering conference room in the city hall annex on the second floor october 12 George initiative Community Housing Committee meeting 11am in the city hall annex multi-purpose room october 13 Fair Housing Committee meeting 5:30 in the city hall annex multi-purpose room october 15th community resource fair for disabled persons 10am at mathis city auditorium to stay informed of what’s happening in the city sign up for the weekly enews class at valdosta city.com / public dash information or call public information officer Samantha Matthews at 229- 259-3548 as a citizen of valdosta we should all be concerned about what goes on in the community that’s one of the reasons that you have so many programs and opportunities for residents to engage with the city the citizens police and fire academy just started the new sessions and we host valdosta government 101 each spring these and other events citizens can get involved being placed on our website social media platforms and here on metro 17 so find something that interests you and get involved this concludes another edition of city focus be sure to visit our website at valdosta city.com like us on Facebook valdosta city without limits also like our valdosta youth council page follow us on Twitter at city of valdosta and subscribe to our YouTube channel metro 17 valdosta to watch city focus on the man and help your local government by downloading the valdosta click and fix app to your mobile device thank you for watching we’ll see you next time here on city focus