STEUBEN, Maine — Steuben voters approved a $750 anti-littering campaign at the town meeting Saturday.
The money will be spent on 10 signs that say “Please help keep our roadways clean,” town clerk Julie Ginn said Monday.
“I ordered them this morning,” said Ginn, who estimated the signs would be delivered and installed toward the end of April.
The signs will be erected on various roads around town.
The town also will be asking permission of Ella Lewis School officials to send campaign letters home to parents of children enrolled in the local elementary school.
According to Ginn, the letter would ask parents, “Can you encourage your children and other people not to toss trash out car windows?”
It also would request that people take responsibility for keeping clean the fronts of their properties, any vacant neighboring properties and the properties of neighbors who are elderly, ill or away for an extended period of time.
Principal Chris Beals did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment on the request Monday.
“If every driver, passenger and resident can do his and her small part, the results will be astonishing,” the proposed letter states. “Together we will make Steuben a town that fills us with well-deserved pride to call home.”
Ginn said the idea for the anti-littering campaign came from resident Peggy Drake, who approached the selectmen in September 2015 with her concerns.
“She was really concerned about the amount of trash on the roadways,”
Contacted Monday, Drake said she has been concerned about litter for several years.
“It’s an increasingly ugly problem,” said Drake, who lives on Village Road.
She said she noticed the problem because she used to walk three times per week.
“When you’re down on the ground like that, you see far more than when you’re whizzing by in the car,” she said.
She took along bags to pick up trash during her walks but, as fast as she would clean it up, new litter would appear.
She approached the town selectmen about the problem a few years ago. They were sympathetic but said there was nothing they could do.
Drake decided to try again last fall because new people are in office.
“They were fully supportive,” she said. “I couldn’t be happier.”