Shovels, brushes, brooms and tractors are being hauled out in Star Valley every month to clean up private roads and culverts badly damaged by a host of winter storms.
Organized by a group of concerned residents living off Latigo Lane, volunteers trimmed overgrown bushes and trees, cleared clogged channels, staked posts, swept away dirt and debris for several hours March 13, and then sat down to a potluck lunch.
Latigo Road Maintenance Association Vice President Tad Neal said the cleanup ‘parties’ have been a huge success and service to the 60 homeowners that live along the road.
“It has brought a sense of community,” Neal said. “Everyone gets know their neighbors better.”
So far, homeowners have gathered twice to straighten up the roads, and plan to meet the second Saturday of each month to keep the roads in shape.
“We have a lot left to do,” Neal said.
Latigo Road Maintenance Association President John Novak, who is credited with spearheading the project, said it has brought the neighborhood together.
“We are meeting neighbors we haven’t met before and creating more community involvement,” he said.
Novak said in the past, road maintenance was spotty with no formal organization in charge.
It had been years since the two miles of roads in the neighborhood were maintained, since the town is not responsible for maintaining them.
Novak created the maintenance association and two months ago, homeowners elected a five-member board. The association is now in the process of becoming a credited nonprofit organization. Homeowners are asked to contribute $125 to the association and participate in the cleanup or potluck in whatever way they can.
“The only way to maintain the roads is by ourselves,” Novak said.
The parties normally attract 20 to 30 homeowners that bring whatever tools they have. Some work on clearing brush to increase visibility, and others dig out culverts to improve drainage. The group is focused mainly on Latigo Lane because it is the main thoroughfare through the area, Neal said.
Maintaining the road not only benefits residents, Novak added, but also helps emergency personal move through the area easier.
The next cleanup is scheduled for April 10.