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VFD open house, Clean Sweep highlight Saturday

If you’re a Greensboro resident who wants a safer community, or a Perry County resident who wants theirs cleaner, last Saturday was a good day.

That’s thanks to two of the many regional activities held Saturday in the sunny spring weather: one, an open house to officially inaugurate the new Greensboro Volunteer Fire Department building; and the Perry County Clean Sweep day, held in Marion and Uniontown.

In attendance at the Greensboro VFD open house were state Senator Bobby Singleton, Greensboro mayor J.B. Washington, and other local elected officials.

“This is a great start,” said Greensboro city councilman Johnny Davis, who noted that even citizens lucky enough to never call on the VFD’s services would benefit from lower fire insurance premiums. “This is great for our citizens and a great asset for our community. It’s been a long time coming.”

“It took some doing,” said Greensboro Fire Chief Richard Roberts. “We started back when the bank burned. This was back when Senator Singleton was still on the city Council, and I told him we needed a [new ladder] truck. Bobby pushed for that, and after he was elected he helped us applying for grants to have a place to house it…the facilities and equipment we have are great for being a VFD, and a VFD in this region.”

Richards showed his appreciation for Singleton’s help by offering him a guided tour of the new facility, which has room for all four of the VFD’s trucks, a fully furnished kitchen and living room, showers for either gender, and still plenty of space to spare.

“We are proud of what we’re doing,” said Singleton, who pointed out that the Greensboro trucks and facilities could be used to assists other nearby rural communities as well. “We have to protect all our first responders…this is a good, good day.”

It was a good day as well for Perry County, which got a quick facelift from the Clean Sweep clean-up day.

“This was one of the most–if not the most–successful Clean Sweep we’ve had,” said Dr. Twynette Yeager, former Marion city councilwoman and longtime coordinator of the Clean Sweep program. “We were very pleased with the turnout. We think we opened a lot of people’s eyes to how big the problem is.”

Although still prominently involved, Yeager recently stepped aside for Marion councilman Brandon Taylor to chair the 2005 program. Vinnie Royster and Carrie McFadden were the coordinators for the Clean Sweep efforts in Marion and Uniontown, respectively.

Yeager said the Marion crews included a wide range of participants, all of which were given trash bags and gloves Saturday morning before dispersing across the city to collect trash and litter.

“It seemed like everybody in town came out to help…The City Council were there and helped, the mayor and his wife, the Chief of Police, the Sheriff. We had inmates from the Perry County and city jails helping…just a lot of different people,” she said.

Two more participants were the president of Marion Military Institute, Col. James H. Benson, and his wife Mary. They spent their Saturday morning cleaning Washington St., which runs along the front edge of MMI.

“We’re glad to help,” said Benson. “Marion’s a great little town, but it does need some work sometimes.”

The Clean Sweep was co-sponsored by People Against a Littered State (PALS) and Legacy, Inc., an environmental education group.

“They really backed us and supported us. We’re very thankful. Company’s coming,” Yeager said, referring to various upcoming Marion events like the Old Howard College Bike-a-Thon and Judson’s J-Day, “and we’ve got to get ready.”