City of Hermiston, Chamber Aim to Establish ‘Adopt-a-Street’ Program

Hermiston Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Val Hoxie talks about plans for an "Adopt-a-Street" program during Monday's Hermiston City Council meeting.

The Hermiston City Council will consider a formal proposal to develop an Adopt-a-Street program to help keep the city’s streets clean of trash and weeds.

Hermiston City Manager Bryon Smith and Hermiston Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Val Hoxie have been in talks about establishing a program in which community members and organizations can sign up to adopt a street to help keep city streets clean.

The city would fund the project and the chamber would administer it. Vest, tools, and garbage bags purchased by the city would be available at the chamber for volunteers. The initial plan calls for focusing on high-traffic streets and eventually expanding into residential areas. Groups would register with the chamber which will have a map showing available streets for adoption as well as which streets have already been adopted and by who.

All streets involved would be on public right of ways.

Once the streets have been cleaned, the bags would be left on site and city crews would pick them up. Mayor Dave Drotzmann said he was enthusiastic about the plan but asked if the volunteers would be accountable for maintaining their end of the agreement.

Smith said he anticipates volunteers to be asked to go out twice a year to clean up their street. If that doesn’t happen, they won’t be allowed to participate the following year.

Hoxie, who has been involved in similar projects in the past, said she doesn’t anticipate volunteers failing to keep the streets clean.

“I found that more people participated than backed out,” she said. “I appreciate you guys giving this some thought because I think its valuable to the community.”

The council voted to have a formal proposal brought back to the council at a future meeting.