THUNDER BAY – Spring cleaning across Thunder Bay is underway. Last weekend, the Fort William BIA was out clearing the sidewalks of debris. The weekend before, volunteers were out in the area helping to clean up back lanes.
The difference in the downtown is very postive. Sidewalks are easier to walk, and the winter’s trash and litter is gone. Many business owners started weeks ago, sweeping up the gravel, and picking up the trash.
Missing in the mix is help from the City of Thunder Bay it appears.
Road cleaning crews, one might think would start in the downtown areas. Instead, the Fort William BIA was told that cleaning would happen around May 23rd.
Garbage collected and bagged and put beside trash bins, when the volunteer clean up happened are still sitting there two weeks later.
It might appear that the goal of the City of Thunder Bay for a “Diamond Standard” when it comes to keeping our community clean has been taken up by volunteers, by business owners, the BIA, but forgotten by the City itself.
When the work of volunteers is not capitalized on, the message to those dedicated helpers is their help isn’t needed or wanted. That is entirely the wrong message and likely not the message the city means to send.
Perhaps the City Administration needs some of the top managers out walking the downtowns at lunchtime to see how the city looks to our residents. Maybe Councillors need to take a break during Monday nights and get some boots on the ground and see the real “State of the City”.
This is a sharp contrast to Winnipeg. There all of the roads are cleaned in five weeks, and the work started in mid April.
Thunder Bay needs to have the city step up its game when it comes to cleaning up. The “Diamond Standard” is applied to City Hall. There, year-round the snow and litter is cleaned up on a daily basis. That makes for a good look for City Hall, but creates a very sharp contrast to the rest of downtown.
Across the Fort William BIA and Simpson Street BIA, business owners have moved far faster than the City in getting ready for spring. There should, at the least be a partnership between the city and the business areas.