- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 9, 2014

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) - A central Indiana city won’t participate in an annual community cleanup event this spring, saying it can’t afford the cost because it spent so much clearing snow over the winter.

Anderson city workers have been helping with the Rev. J.T. Meniffee cleanup project, organized by the local Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission, since it was started in 1985, The Herald Bulletin reported (http://bit.ly/1i15AvF ).

But Mayor Kevin Smith’s administration said the city has typically spent about $15,000 in overtime for employees who operate machinery and equipment and $3,000 for the planning of the cleanup campaign with several churches and volunteers.

A city statement said its budget was strapped by a record amount of snow during the winter months.

“The overtime budgets of the various city departments, who removed snow and ice from our roadways, are limited,” the statement said.

The Rev. Wayne Redding, a leader of the King memorial commission, said he’s unhappy with the mayor’s decision but that the cleanup will be held in May as planned in the 55,000-person city about 25 miles northeast of Indianapolis.

“The campaign is designed to instill pride in our community and to identify areas that need attention,” he said. “We will never stop doing that.”

City officials said residents can still get rid of large items on the regular weekday scheduled for pickup of bulk trash.

___

Information from: The Herald Bulletin, http://www.theheraldbulletin.com